The Gibraltar Chronicle reported on 7 February that a 34-year-old accountant had been arrested in Gibraltar on suspicion of money laundering linked to cross-border drug trafficking. During the operation a number of residential and business premises were searched, with officers of the anti-drug smuggling branch of the Guardia Civil present during some of the searches.
On 9 February, the Independent reported that, as HM Treasury launched a consultation on a chain of 10 freeports planned by the government, it was claimed by the Labour Party that they will be used by the super-rich to hoard assets and avoid taxes, and would allow companies to bypass regulation and minimise taxes. Seaports and airports would be able to bid for freeport status, with successful applicants named around the end of the year and opening for business in 2021. The Labour Party also said that there is very little solid evidence that so-called freeports create jobs or boost economic growth.