The National Crime Agency (NCA) says British businesses are at risk of being drawn into corrupt practices after the UK leaves the European Union in a Brexit-driven surge in crime.

UK-based companies looking to increase trade with countries outside the EU are more likely to come into contact with corrupt markets, particularly in the developing world, the NCA says.

Brexit will also provide greater opportunities for criminals to launder money, such as investing dirty cash in British businesses that deal in high-value items such as gems and precious metals, the agency says.

In its annual assessment of serious and organised crime, the NCA said criminals would take advantage of a redesigned customs setup when the UK leaves the EU, as well as any gaps in intelligence-sharing between countries.