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HMRC issues largest ever fine for regulations breach

HMRC supervises more than 30,000 businesses across the UK, including 1,500 principal money service businesses (MSBs), to help these firms protect themselves from criminals who seek to launder cash or finance terrorism

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a £23.8m fine to money transfer company MT Global Limited for breaches of regulations between July 2017 and December 2019. It marks the largest ever fine handed out by the body.

News of the fine falls alongside the latest published list of businesses which have all received fines for breaching “strict regulations”, with an aim that in doing so, fines will help prevent criminals from laundering illicit cash.

HMRC supervises more than 30,000 businesses across the UK, including 1,500 principal money service businesses (MSBs), to help these firms protect themselves from criminals who seek to launder cash or finance terrorism.

Between 2019 to 2020, HMRC completed 2,000 “interventions” on supervised businesses and issued penalties totalling £9.1m, as well as stopping 89 non-compliant businesses and individuals from trading.

It also reportedly “recouped” over £166m from the proceeds of crime, of which more than £22m was linked to money laundering offences.

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Nick Sharp, deputy director of economic crime, fraud investigation Service for HMRC, said: “Businesses who fail to comply with the money laundering regulations leave themselves, and the UK economy, open to attacks by criminals.

“Money laundering is not a victimless crime. Criminals use laundered cash to fund serious organised crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even terrorism.”

He added: “We’re here to help businesses protect themselves from those who would prey on their services. That includes taking action against the minority who fail to meet their legal obligations under the regulations as this record fine clearly shows.”

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