EU: New Directive To Punish Money Laundering Criminals

; posted on
June 13th, 2018

The EU Council (at ambassadors' level) confirmed the agreement reached between the Bulgarian Presidency and the Parliament on new rules on using criminal law to counter money laundering. Member states will transpose it into national law within 24 months after the linguistic revision is done.

Final Compromise on New Rules

It has been agreed to tackle anti-money laundering within the Union with harsh measures, including:

  • Money laundering activities will be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 4 years.
  • Additional sanctions and measures may be imposed by judges together with imprisonment (e.g. temporary or permanent exclusion from access to public funding, fines, etc.).
  • Aggravating circumstances will apply to cases linked to criminal organisation or for offences conducted in the exercise of certain professional activities.
  • Legal entities will also be held liable for certain money laundering activities and can face a range of sanctions.

The compromise also includes clearer rules to define which member state has jurisdiction and the cooperation between member states in cross border cases, as well as the need to involve Eurojust.

A Complement to Rules Stemming Money Laundering

The directive aims to disrupt and prevent terrorist financing and financial crimes with regard to the use of criminal law. “It is another building block in EU’s overall plan to stem the flow of money available to criminals,” said Tsetska Tsacheva, Bulgarian minister of Justice. It also acts as a complement on the criminal law aspects to the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing adopted last month.

Source: EU Council

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