The centre will be based in the National Crime Agency (NCA) headquarters in London, where officers from the NCA, HM Revenue & Customs, the City of London Police, the Home Office, the Financial Conduct Authority and other agencies will work alongside each other “with a clear mission to protect the public”.
The partnership was set up not only to tackle financial crimes and offenders in the UK but also to ensure that the UK’s private and governmental bodies know how to tackle and prevent economic crime.
First, the NECC will co-ordinate tasks and activities among agencies; second, it will identify and prioritise investigations, and, third, it will promote the use of new powers – such as unexplained wealth orders and account freezing orders.
“I am delighted to be working closely with our partners to shape this exciting development in the fight against serious organised crime,” said Lynne Owens, NCA director general. “The NECC is part of a new, whole-system approach, which will significantly improve the UK’s response to serious and organised crime.
“Only together will we bring to justice the most harmful criminals and prevent them using or benefiting from their illicit finances. And only together will we protect the UK from economic crime.”
Similarly, the move was strongly welcomed by Ben Wallace MP, minister of state for security and economic crime.
He said: “This government is determined to deny the most dangerous and determined criminals access to their money and assets.
“There is a realistic possibility that the scale of money laundering impacting on the UK annually is at least in the tens of billions of pounds. This has a corrosive effect on our reputation and our communities.
“I’m delighted it is now up and running and look forward to seeing perpetrators tracked down, brought to justice and stripped of their assets.”