Shoosmiths

National Crime Agency — requests for information

By Jeremy Bouch

The National Crime Agency (NCA) replaced the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) on 7 October 2013 as the UK’s main body for tackling organised crime and it has made a commitment to work closely with businesses in its fight against white-collar crime and cyber attacks.

The most important tool in disrupting crime is information and historically it has come from intelligence on known or suspected criminal activity via reports, surveillance or research. In the last few years, the landscape has changed by obliging persons within the regulated sector and nominated officers to make disclosures of suspicions of money laundering and requiring all persons to make disclosures about suspected criminal property or terrorist financing.

However, the NCA is adopting a new approach in combating crime by acquiring enormous amounts of innocuous-looking information that were not targeted in the early stages of investigations by SOCA. This includes company records, regulated sector memberships or transport manifests, for example, that when combined with known or suspected criminal activity will help lead to the identification by the NCA of further criminality. The effect will be a huge increase in the volume and type of information sought by the NCA from businesses under cover of a request for information brought about by section 7 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013…

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