HMRC, Police Scotland and FACT undertake joint operation

Five properties in The Lothians and Fife, the registered addresses for around 1,500 companies, were searched yesterday morning by officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The searches are part of an investigation linked into suspected Money Laundering Regulations breaches and illegal film distribution.

HRMC, along with Police Scotland and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), seized computer and business records from five business and residential properties in the Edinburgh and Fife areas. The addresses searched are believed to be the registered offices of around 1,500 legal entities, including Limited Partnerships (LPs), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and Limited Companies, which are being investigated by HMRC.

Anne-Marie Gordon, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“Breaching Money Laundering Regulations is a serious crime. This activity could open the door to allow organised criminals and terrorists to profit from their illegal activities. Money laundering costs millions of pounds in lost revenue that should be funding public services.

“Today’s operation, working closely with Police Scotland, a partner in the Serious Organised Crime Task Force, and FACT, sends a clear message that HMRC will investigate any activity suspected of flouting Money Laundering Regulations. Anyone with information about alleged financial crime can contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Detective Inspector Arron Clinkscales from Police Scotland’s Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit said:

“Today’s activity is the culmination of considerable intelligence-gathering and partnership working between all of the agencies involved.

“Various pieces of evidence were taken from the addresses in Edinburgh and Fife and these will now we reviewed.

“Police Scotland is committed to working alongside our partner agencies whenever we receive reports of criminal offences linked to serious organised crime to bring those responsible to justice.”

Kieron Sharp, Director General, FACT, said:

“The illegal distribution of film content causes significant harm to the UK economy, and often those involved are linked to financial crime and other forms of serious crime.  FACT is committed to working alongside HMRC and Law Enforcement Agencies to identify and bring those individuals to account.”

Investigations into the evidence seized are ongoing.

Notes for editors

Details of properties searched:

  • One business and one residential property searched in West Fife.
  • One business and two residential properties searched in North Edinburgh.

HM Revenue and Customs is a committed member of the Scottish Government’s Serious Organised Crime Task Force. The Task Force has a remit to pursue serious organised crime in all its forms by bringing together all agencies involved in tackling organised crime groups. Task Force members include the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, the Lord Advocate, representatives from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, HMRC, NCA, SPS and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, amongst others.

Related News

News

PIPCU pulls no punches when warning about illegal streaming

• Using a device to stream or watch TV, sports or films without an official subscription is breaking the law • Making unauthorised streams of TV, sports or films available is also illegal • This year, Umar Shazad was ordered to pay legal costs of more than £12,000 for re-streaming Sky Sports content illegally The … Continued

Arrests News Partnerships Premier League Prosecutions

Cornwall man admits sale of illegal TV streaming services

Following an investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards into illegal television streaming services, a man admitted copyright and fraud charges at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 20th November 2019. Steven Underwood (also known as Steven Isaac), previously of Killiers Court, Illogan, near Redruth faced two charges under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and … Continued

Arrests News Partnerships Premier League Prosecutions

London retailer convicted of fraud and copyright offences

A retailer in London has been convicted at the City of London Magistrates’ Court for selling illegal streaming devices (ISDs) which gave access to unauthorised Premier League broadcasts and other content. Mr. Ammar Al-Silawi, age 39, was found guilty on two charges of copyright and two charges of fraud, having been found to sell ISDs … Continued

News Prosecutions

Licensee ordered to pay over £2,500 for illegally screening Sky Sports in their pub

On Friday 2nd August, Mr Thomas John Holland of the Goat Inn[1] was convicted of three offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission, in this case, Sky televised football matches, with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial … Continued