Min­is­ters to chair new task­force in fight against eco­nomic crime

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

THE HOME Sec­re­tary and Chan­cel­lor are to launch a joint blitz on fraud, bribery, cor­rup­tion and money laun­der­ing.

Sa­jid Javid and Philip Ham­mond will chair a new task­force which will work with se­nior fig­ures in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor to tackle eco­nomic crime. This is a broad cat­e­gory cov­er­ing a range of il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity, with the Home Of­fice es­ti­mat­ing its scale is at least £14.4bn a year. Mr Javid said: “We need to take ac­tion on all fronts to tar­get the cor­rupt fraud­sters who are lin­ing their pock­ets with dirty money and liv­ing lux­ury life­styles at the ex­pense of law-abid­ing cit­i­zens.

“The Gov­ern­ment is al­ready in­vest­ing mil­lions in the fight against eco­nomic crime, but it is cru­cial we work closely with our fi­nan­cial sec­tor part­ners to win this bat­tle.

“These crim­i­nals threaten the UK’s rep­u­ta­tion as a world-lead­ing place to do busi­ness and we have a joint re­spon­si­bil­ity to stop them.”

The Chan­cel­lor said the UK is lead­ing the world in the fight against il­licit fi­nance. Mr Ham­mond added: “We know more can be done which is why the Home Sec­re­tary and I are launch­ing the first ever cross de­part­men­tal board to pre­vent more peo­ple from be­com­ing vic­tims of eco­nomic crime.

“By bring­ing to­gether spe­cial­ists across the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor, we can use the best of our ex­per­tise to main­tain our sta­tus as a global fi­nan­cial cen­tre.”

The Eco­nomic Crime Strate­gic Board will set pri­or­i­ties, di­rect re­sources and scru­ti­nise per­for­mance against the threat.

Its mem­bers also in­clude bank chiefs, Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters, law en­force­ment fig­ures and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the le­gal, ac­coun­tancy and prop­erty sec­tors.

At the board’s first meet­ing to­day, the Home Sec­re­tary will con­firm that his depart­ment will com­mit £3.5m in 2019/20 to sup­port work to re­form the sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity re­ports (SARs) regime. The re­ports are used to flag up money laun­der­ing, ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing and other sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity to the Na­tional Crime Agency.

SA­JID JAVID: ‘It is cru­cial we work closely with our fi­nan­cial sec­tor part­ners to win this bat­tle.’

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