HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers have arrested 15 people as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering offences in excess of £200m.
The arrests across the North West, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire were part of Operation Enigma. Around 250 investigators from HMRC, assisted by officers from a number of police forces, also carried out over 20 property searches.
HMRC's deputy director for criminal investigation Alan Lee said: "Operation Enigma is an HMRC-led investigation targeting money laundering offences.
"Our activity today sends out a clear message to those involved in this type of criminality.
"Attempts to launder the proceeds of crime are treated extremely seriously by HMRC, and we will relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed to be actively involved in money laundering."
'Necessary steps' taken
Penalty payments and enforcement policy
Fees as low as 0.04%
Only 9,486 applied for the benefit in 12 months
Women and young people adversely affected