Here’s an amazing admission. The United Kingdom tax authority, HMRC, has admitted that it does secret deals to avoid damaging the reputation of the most powerful members of society, allowing them to escape prosecution for financial crimes. But it still prosecutes small business people!
Gob-smacked? Yep! Talk about one rule for the rich and another for the ordinary person. We thought the UK is a democracy and isn’t there this historical thing called Magna Carta???
The admission was reported in The Sunday Times last weekend. The Times reported the deputy director of HMRC in charge of organized crime saying at a recent conference:
“very wealthy and prominent members of the community” were afraid of the “reputational damage” that a criminal trial for fraud, money-laundering or tax evasion would bring.
He said: “When deciding whether to deploy our resources, we try to understand what motivates different types of offenders. For example, some tax offenders are very wealthy, prominent members of the community. We know that these types of people do not want the reputational damage of custodial sentences, and we can use that to our advantage.
Unsurprisingly, this extraordinary explanation by HMRC caused outrage. One senior UK politician responded:
“This raises questions over the public’s equality under the law….”
The article continues:
“Earlier this year, HMRC was embarrassed when it emerged that it had refused to assist a French investigation into suspected money-laundering and tax fraud by the UK telecoms giant Lycamobile, citing the fact that the company was the ‘biggest corporate donor to the Conservative Party’”.
HMRC initially denied the Lycamobile story, saying: “This is the United Kingdom for God’s sake, not some Third World banana republic where the organs of state are in hock to some sort of kleptocracy.” It later conceded that the story was accurate.
If you want to know how international money laundering by the rich and powerful operates, watch these two short videos here and here.
Ken Phillips and the Team at Self-Employed Australia