Wednesday 4 September 2019 4:18 pm

Forex firm hit with record £7.8m fine by HMRC for anti-money laundering failures

West London money transmitter Touma Foreign Exchange has been fined a record £7.8m by HMRC for breaching anti-money laundering regulations.

The taxman said today it fined the Greenford-based firm “for breaching strict regulations, which could have left them at the mercy of criminals looking to wash dirty cash”.

Read more: Serious Fraud Office prosecutes just four money laundering cases since 2014

Between June 2017 and September 2018 the business breached rules on risk assessments and record-keeping; policies, controls and procedures; customer due diligence measures; and adequate staff training.

Hassanien Touma, who founded the business in 2011, was banned on 20 May 2019 from any management roles at a business governed by anti-money laundering regulations. 

The HMRC said individuals are required to pass a vetting test to ensure they are fit and proper to carry out the role, and Touma failed to do this.

Read more: Loopholes in anti-money laundering law could be exploited by criminals, MPs and Lords say

Simon York, director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Money laundering is the lifeblood of the illicit drugs trade, human trafficking and other serious crimes which bring harm and misery to communities across our country. It also supports economic crime which costs the UK billions of pounds every year.”