MANY professions are engaged in the war against money laundering but it seems increasingly plain that customs officers are at the very forefront of the campaign. Most crime (with some forms of terrorism a conspicuous exception) is committed mainly for financial profit and that profit has to be re-cycled if the criminals are to gain anything at all from it. "It is the re-cycling that becomes the laundering," wrote Ian Watson, head of the financial investigation branch of Britain's Customs and Excise last year.

Mr Watson said that the ...

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