He already has the power to arrest, and as of today, the British taxman will also be able to intercept phone calls, emails and letters, as well as bug residential premises and private vehicles.
The powers were granted to HMRC in the Serious Crime Act, which gained Royal Assent in October, but did not come into force until the relevant statutory instrument is issued today.
Customs officers have always had these powers because of their criminal investigations into drugs and guns, said an HMRC spokesman. Now they will be granted across the board. We could use it purely in tax matters. Tax offences are quite often combined with other forms of criminality.
HMRC has stated that all surveillance will be conducted in compliance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and the Wilson Doctrine,...