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UK tax authority fines MT Global $32 million over money laundering breaches

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s tax authority has slapped a record 23.8 million pound ($32.4 million) fine on MT Global Ltd, a private money services business, for significant breaches of anti money laundering regulations.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said on Thursday it had penalised the company for failures in carrying out risk assessments, its policies, controls and procedures, due diligence and record keeping.

“Businesses who fail to comply with the money laundering regulations leave themselves, and the UK economy, open to attacks by criminals,” said Nick Sharp, HMRC’s deputy director of economic crime in the Fraud Investigation Service.

“Money laundering is not a victimless crime. Criminals use laundered cash to fund serious organised crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even terrorism.”

Calls to MT Global’s office in Luton, about 35 miles north of London, went unanswered.

($1 = 0.7355 pounds)

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Mark Potter

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