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UK to hire 475 fincrime investigators and spend £500 million on economic crime technology and PPPs

The long-awaited Economic Crime Plan from Britain was released on Thursday. It includes plans to hire 475 new fincrime investigators, spend £500 million on the fight against economic crime, and increase the use of PPPs and technology.

A pledge to recover £1 billion in criminal funds over the following ten years was also made.

The government claimed its plan would enable both groups to "be identified and stripped of their cash through a new plan to tackle economic crime," and that it was targeting "corrupt elites and criminal gangs who abuse our financial system."

According to the official statement, "Our response to economic crime will be bolstered by 475 new highly trained financial crime investigators, spread across intelligence, enforcement and asset recovery at key agencies."

"This increased capacity will be targeted toward the detection and disruption of money laundering, and the recovery of an additional £1 billion in criminal assets over the next 10 years."

We are now expanding the National Crime Agency's (NCA) Combatting Kleptocracy Cell to target more corrupt elites and their enablers while consolidating the efficacy of UK sanctions, building on the package of sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

We are investing £100 million in cutting edge technology, including data analytics, to give law enforcement the tools they need to remain one step ahead as criminals look for new ways to launder their profits.

In addition, a new multi-agency crypto cell that combines law enforcement and regulators will be created in order to pool knowledge and more efficiently locate, seize, and store illicit crypto assets.

According to officials, the "Economic Crime Plan 2" builds on the principles of its predecessor while introducing fresh initiatives to improve the systemic response to economic crime through improved collaboration between the public and private sectors as well as law enforcement and supervisory agencies.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, said:

"Ecconomic crime undermines the integrity of our financial system and weakens our national security.

"Ecconomic crime undermines the integrity of our financial system and weakens our national security. "Through robust legislation and a strengthened law enforcement response, we’ve come a long way in cracking down on dirty money, but this plan helps us go further.

"Backed by our partnership with the private sector, we have the resources and expertise we need to identify criminal networks and confiscate the proceeds of their illicit activities."

The success of the strategy is viewed as being dependent on collaboration with the private sector through PPPs. A new strategy for public-private prioritization is being developed, according to the government, "which will maximize our collective intelligence and resource to detect and disrupt economic crime."

In order to guarantee efficiency and adherence to the Money Laundering Regulations, the UK's supervisory system will be strengthened with increased information sharing between partners and increased government oversight.

Baroness Penn, a Treasury Lords minister, said:

"Economic crime harms our economy and destroys lives. More funding from government and the new contribution from industry through the new levy will allow us to deliver a step change in our response."

This multi-stakeholder strategy guarantees that we can make the most of the new powers through strengthened capacity and greater expertise while the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill makes its way through Parliament. We will be able to recognize fake companies and take swift action to hold criminals accountable thanks to this.

The three-year plan is supported by an extra £400 million in funding to combat economic crime during the Spending Review Period.

Included in this are £200 million from the HMG's funding and £200 million from the Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy, which was funded by the business community.

By supporting the implementation of crucial economic crime reforms, such as those outlined in the Economic Crime Plan, this money will guarantee a step-change in our response. The Plan also obligates us to look into new avenues for reinvesting allegedly illegal funds in preventing economic crime and helping victims.

Chairman of UK Finance, Bob Wigley, said:

"Tackling economic crime is a key priority for the banking and finance industry and we welcome the launch of the Second Economic Crime Plan.

Partnerships between the private sector, law enforcement, regulators and government are vitally important. Through this new plan we will continue to work together to ensure our collective system more effectively combats all forms of economic crime."

Director General of the NCA, Graeme Biggar, stated:

"The NCA’s National Economic Crime Centre has led the way in bringing together the public and private sectors to ensure systems are in place to tackle high harm financial crime to protect the UK’s public, financial structures and reputation."

"The reforms detailed in the Economic Crime Plan are crucial to move us to the next level in our fight against the dirty money that fuels serious and organised crime. They will enhance our capabilities to identify illicit finance and drive it out of the UK; targeting corrupt elites, and the money launderers criminal gangs rely on."

ICAEW's Chief Executive, Michael Izza, stated:

"We are supportive of the measures set out in this plan which will help in the fight against economic crime, and we will continue to invest in robust supervision, education and intelligence-sharing.

"A key success of the first Economic Crime Plan was developing the partnership between accountancy and the public sector to crack down on money-laundering.

"Tackling economic crime and driving dirty money out of the UK’s financial systems will be best achieved by Government working closely with professional body supervisors, and we look forward to collaborating on the actions outlined in the second Economic Crime Plan."



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