HMRC has announced on LinkedIn that it is investigating UK taxpayers, who have connections with Euro Pacific International Bank (EPB), for suspected tax evasion and money laundering.
This is a highly unusual announcement from HMRC. It follows the Puerto Rico Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF) closing down the operations of EPB on 30 June 2022 with a cease and desist order, due to the bank’s failure to comply with minimum capital requirements and other violations of regulations administered by OCIF.
In 2020 the J5 group had a joint day of action known as Operation Atlantis, which sought to put a stop to suspected facilitation of offshore tax evasion and money laundering by EPB, by executing enforcement actions in its member countries. The J5 was set up in 2018 to combat international crime and money laundering, and includes representatives of tax authorities from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.
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