In Brief

New economic crime centre will tackle money-laundering

Drug and people trafficking to be targeted by £90bn-a-year body

Britain is to crack down on money-laundering by creating a national economic crime centre that will target drug dealers and people traffickers.

 A division of the National Crime Agency, the centre will be tasked with confiscating the proceeds of illegal activity, estimated to be as much as £90bn this year alone, by coordinating a national response among agencies that tackle money-laundering and fraud.

Britain’s plan to exit the EU in 2019 has raised fears of a “bonfire of regulation” that could result in the City of London losing its status as one of the world’s financial centres, says Reuters. “Strengthening the integrity of Britain as a financial centre will be a top priority under the package.”

The centre will work closely with tax authorities and the Serious Fraud Office to seize criminal assets. They will be aided by new laws to improve the process by which confiscation orders are made and applied.

The Home Secretary Amber Rudd will also chair a new economic crime strategic board to ensure resources are allocated to tackle economic crime.

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