HMRC seizes £1.5m in cash and arrests 13 on suspicion of money laundering
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has arrested 13 people and seized £1.5 million in cash during a UK-wide operation targeting suspected money laundering.
Around 150 officers from HMRC executed 28 warrants across London, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire, Kent, County Armagh and Deeside, and arrested 11 men and two women on suspicion of laundering tens of millions of pounds, the HMRC has revealed.
In addition to the arrests, officers also seized four high value cars, worth approximately £400,000, and granted nine bank account freezing orders, worth a total of £520,000.
“Money laundering and the organised crime it supports is hugely harmful to businesses, citizens and society as a whole. That is why it is a priority for HMRC and this large scale operation demonstrates we will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of being involved," said Simon York, director of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service.
In the last year alone, HMRC has recovered more than £192 million of illicit proceeds using its civil and criminal proceeds of crime powers.
"Tax crime and money laundering deprive public services of vital funds and I would urge anyone with information on this type of fraud to report it to HMRC online, or call our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887," Mr York said.
All those arrested as part of the HMRC's broader efforts to tackle money laundering were questioned and have been released pending further enquiries. Investigations are ongoing.