She said retailers are subject to the legal obligation ‘to report to the proper authorities any financial transactions linked to terrorism or drug trafficking which they become aware of in the course of their trade, business or profession.’
But Kelly made it clear, in response to a question from Isle of Wight Tory MP Andrew Turner, this was the same obligation that applied to ‘the rest of the population’.
Turner had earlier asked what steps were being taken to apply the stricter controls and monitoring arrangements for bureaux de change under anti-terror legislation to retailers that accept euro currency.
Under the emergency Anti-Terrorist Bill introduced in November last year, Customs & Excise now regulate bureaux de change, cashing companies and money transmission agents.
All such operations must now be registered and approved by Customs before they can begin business activities.
In addition, Customs staff can carry out ‘surprise’ inspections at money exchange businesses to examine their accounts and, if necessary, seize evidence where criminal activity is suspected.
Businesses that do not comply face fines of up to £5,000.
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