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Fifa requests exemption from UK money laundering law

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As England attempts to win the bid to host the 2018 World Cup, Fifa has successfully won its bid to be exempt from the UK's stringent money-laundering legislation as part of the bid deal.

Football's international governing body has asked to be guaranteed exclusion from a range of UK laws.

One such law relates to Bank and Foreign Exchange Operations. Fifa has demanded that the UK government allow "the unrestricted import and export of all foreign currencies to and from the UK, as well as the unrestricted exchange and conversion of these currencies into US dollars, euros or Swiss francs".

This basically translates in layman's terms to hundreds of Fifa staff being allowed to bring in bundles of foreign cash into the UK 'under the nose' of customs officers.

The question on many minds is why should Fifa be exempt from the full power of the Proceeds of Crime act 2002. As the Guardian newspaper points out: "[N]o such requirements were required by the International Olympic Committee for London 2012."

With the vote as to which country will host the 2018 World Cup announced 2 December, should England win it will be interesting to see how flexible our legal system is to accommodating the demands of Fifa.

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