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Anti-money laundering and tax evasion

 
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Money laundering is concealing or converting illegal funds or property or making them look legal. It includes possessing or dealing with the proceeds of crime. We must play no part in it

Tax evasion means deliberately or dishonestly cheating the public revenue or fraudulently evading tax in any jurisdiction

We must be alert to situations which ought to raise our suspicions, including:

  • payments in non-invoice currencies or in cash or cash equivalents
  • payments from multiple sources to satisfy a single invoice, or other unusual payment methods
  • payments to or from an account that is not the normal business relationship account
  • requests for overpayments or for refunds following an overpayment
  • payments by, through or to (or requests to supply our products to) unrelated third parties or shell/shelf companies
  • payments or shipments by, through or to companies or individuals established, resident or operating in countries which have the reputation of being “tax havens” or to bank accounts held in such countries
  • requests to deliver our products to an unusual location, adopt an unusual shipping route or importing and exporting the same products
  • false reporting such as misrepresenting prices, mis-describing goods or services we provide misrepresenting payable tax or shipping and invoice document discrepancies
  • failure by (customers and suppliers) to provide appropriate responses to any due diligence questions raised, including any tax registration details
  • suspicion that trade partners are involved in criminal activity including tax evasion
  • unusually complex M&A or other transaction structures without clear commercial justification or due diligence results in M&A

No involvement in dealing with the proceeds of crime

We must not:
  • engage in any transaction which we know, or suspect involves the proceeds of crime (including tax evasion), or
  • otherwise be knowingly involved directly or indirectly in money laundering activity
We must also ensure that our activities do not inadvertently contravene money laundering and taxation laws.

In most jurisdictions it is a crime for any person or company to engage in transactions involving assets which they know, suspect or have reason to suspect are derived from crime.

Breaching anti-money laundering and taxation laws can result in both corporate liability and personal consequences for individuals.

Refusing to accept large cash sums

We must refuse to accept – or report – the following cash sums.

Group companies in the EU must not accept cash payments over €10,000 (or equivalent) in any single transaction or series of linked transactions.

Group companies in the US (or outside the US when engaged in a transaction related to the US) must not accept cash payments over $10,000 (or equivalent) in any single transaction or series of linked transactions.

Group companies outside the EU should also avoid accepting substantial cash payments.

Minimising the risk of involvement and reporting suspicious activity

We must have effective procedures for:
  • minimising the risk of inadvertent participation in transactions involving the proceeds of crime, including monitoring for illicit money flows and other money laundering/terror financing red flags
  • detecting and preventing money laundering by employees, officers, directors, agents, customers and suppliers
  • supporting employees in identifying situations which ought to give rise to a suspicion of money laundering
  • filing required reports relating to money laundering obligations with the appropriate authorities
     

Group companies must ensure that their customer and supplier approval procedures (‘know your customer’, ‘know your supplier’ including the Third Party ABAC Procedure  ) are adequate, risk-based, and ensure as far as possible, that customers and suppliers are not involved in any criminal activity.

We should promptly refer suspicious transaction or activity by any customer or other third party to our General Manager or Head of Function and local LEX Counsel.

No involvement in tax evasion or the facilitation of tax evasion

We must not:
  • evade taxes or facilitate tax evasion by another person (including another Group entity)
  • provide any assistance to someone who we know, or suspect is engaged in tax evasion.
     
We must:
  • be aware of, and fully comply with, all taxation laws in jurisdictions where we operate
  • account for and pay all taxes that are properly due

It is a crime for any company or individual to evade taxes.  Money not properly paid in tax may constitute the proceeds of crime.

There are sometimes legitimate ways for taxpayers to reduce their tax burden that do not constitute forms of tax evasion. However, it is important to distinguish between legitimate tax planning and tax evasion, which can be difficult at times.  If you are in doubt about the difference between tax planning and tax evasion you should seek advice from your LEX Counsel.

Maintaining controls to prevent facilitation of tax evasion

Group companies must maintain controls to prevent the risk that our employees or business partners may facilitate tax evasion by another person or company.  These controls should include:
  • tax compliance and non-facilitation of tax evasion clauses in contracts with third parties where appropriate;
  • conduct and provide appropriate training and support to staff who manage relationships with third parties and/or our own tax obligations;
  • investigate, and if necessary suspend and/or terminate, employees and third parties suspected of tax evasion or facilitation of tax evasion.
     

If you suspect that an agent, contractor, customer or supplier is evading taxes or facilitating the evasion of taxes, notify your local LEX Counsel immediately.

Awareness of, and compliance with, relevant anti-terrorism measures

We must ensure that we do not knowingly assist in financing or otherwise supporting terrorist activity, and that our activities do not inadvertently breach any relevant anti-terrorist financing measures.

Group companies’ internal controls should include checks to ensure that they do not deal with any entity, organisation or individual proscribed by a government or international body due to its known or suspected terrorist links.

Terrorist groups may try to use legitimate businesses, from retail outlets to distribution or financial service companies, to finance their networks or otherwise move illicit funds. We risk inadvertently breaching anti-terrorist financing measures if we deal with such businesses, organisations or individuals.

Who to talk to

Your line manager
Higher management
Your local LEX Counsel
Head of Compliance:
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