§ Mr. Cousins
.: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements are in place to ensure co-ordination between his Department's companies and investigation branches and other regulatory bodies and agencies concerned with the control of money laundering; and how many cases have been referred to (a) non-Government statutory body or (b) a non-Government professional disciplinary body.
§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
The structure set up to enable supervisory authorities to report information on money laundering, following the coming into force of the Criminal Justice Act 1993, provides that the National Criminal Intelligence section at Scotland Yard should be the first reporting point. This is a non-operational unit of the police, having a central intelligence gathering function, which is answerable to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary through the police department of the Home Office. Having received such information the NCIS then informs the local police force of any reporting of any suspected money laundering in its area of jurisdiction and it is that force which will investigate the matter further.
The combined effect of the Act and the regulations under it is to lift certain restrictions on disclosure which exist by virtue of, for example, statute and which might otherwise prevent such reporting. A regular liaison 151W facility has been set up between NCIS and the supervisory authority which also includes various DTI divisions and, for example, those regulating insurance and financial services. Such facilities are designed to assist not only the reporting of suspected money laundering as above but disclosure of any such information on positive money laundering which might implicate a regulated person and throw doubt on his or her continued fitness for the job. Such information can be passed to regulators through a range of statutory gateways if it is required for the exercise of the functions of the recipient regulator. Such information is confidential and it is not our policy to reveal details of it, nor of any recipients of it.