HMRC officers have arrested 13 people and seized £1.5 million in cash during a UK-wide operation targeting suspected money laundering.
Some 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.
In addition to the arrests, officers also seized four high value cars, worth about £400,000, and were granted nine bank account freezing orders, worth a total of £520,000.
Simon York, Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “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.
“We are determined to cut off the funds that are the lifeblood of serious crime in the UK and in the last year alone, HMRC has recovered more than £192 million of illicit proceeds using its civil and criminal proceeds of crime powers.”
All those arrested on 26 June 2019 were questioned by HMRC and have been released pending further enquiries. Investigations are ongoing.
Those arrested on suspicion of money laundering are:
- A 37-year-old man from and a 31-year-old woman from two addresses in Bedford, Bedfordshire.
- A 54-year-old man from Flitwick, Bedfordshire.
- A 20-year-old woman from Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
- A 27-year-old man from Swindon, Wiltshire.
- A 47-year-old man from Shotton, Deeside.
- A 47-year-old man from north Finchley, London.
- A 54-year-old man from Southgate, London.
- A 51-year-old man from Queens Park, London.
- A 42-year-old man from Hackney, London.
- A 38-year-old man from County Armagh.
- A 34-year-old man from Beckenham, Kent.
- A 35-year-old man from Ashford, Kent.