TaxAdministrationCustoms to set up separate prosecutions office

Customs to set up separate prosecutions office

A separate Customs and Excise Prosecutions Office is being set up accountable to attorney general Lord Goldsmith in the wake of the collapse of the London City Bond prosecutions last year.

Link: Customs needs separate prosecuting authority

Goldsmith and economic secretary John Healey announced they accepted the recommendation in the Butterfield Review into the causes of the failure of a series of 13 cases involving £600m of alleged alcohol duty fraud and nearly 100 accused.

The independent prosecuting authority will be established by the end of next year, headed by its own director.

Goldsmith said: ‘To be most effective, prosecutors must be independent – and be seen to be independent – by judges, by their colleagues and by the wider criminal justice system.’

The creation of an independent CEPO, accountable to me, will institutionalise and further protect that independence.

‘A fully independent CEPO, with a clear demarcation of responsibility between investigators and prosecutors, will give Customs a sound basis to continue its fight against crime.’

Healey said the new authority would help Customs disrupt and convict those involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and other serious and organised crime.

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