A chaotic exit of the UK from the European Union (EU) would provide the perfect opportunity for money launderers to take full advantage of uncertainty shrouding customs arrangements and intelligence-sharing agreements according to a specialist in financial crime.

Chief Operating Officer of Quantexa, Imam Hoque, says money launderers often seek out areas where there is a low detection risk due to weak or ineffective anti-money laundering policies.

Intelligence sharing

As Britain struggles to agree terms under which it will leave the European Union in the so called Brexit process, Hoque is one of several security experts warning of gaps opening up in intelligence-sharing between the UK and EU countries.

The UK’s official departure date and move into the transition phase is due to take place on 29 March 2019.

Customs arrangements

According to the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), criminals are likely to exploit a hastily reconfigured customs setup as well as any gaps in intelligence sharing between countries.

Currently, UK police and intelligence works with the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol, Hoque points out.

This currently gives the NCA and the police force in the UK access to tools that enable them to efficiently share data and intelligence with European correspondents. The relationship between British law enforcers and Europol after Brexit is uncertain.