8 January 2021

For long UK has been a favorite destination for money launderers and fugitives from justice from other countries. People like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya from India are living luxury after defrauding the banks in India. Similarly people like James Ibori, who was governor of Delta State in Nigeria and former president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan plundered the oil wealth in Nigeria. The are living in luxury in the UK. The critical importance of the financial sector to the UK’s economy gives room to high-end money laundering.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Thursday (7 Jan 2021) published the latest list of businesses handed fines for breaching strict regulations aimed at preventing criminals from laundering illicit cash. MT Global Limited, a U.K.-based money transfer company tops the list with a record fine of GBP 23.8 million ($32.4 million). The company breached anti-money laundering regulations relating to risk assessments and associated record-keeping; policies, controls, and procedures; and fundamental customer due diligence measures. It noted that businesses who fail to comply with the money laundering regulations leave themselves, and the UK economy, open to attacks by criminals.

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