Commission steps up fight against money laundering and terrorist financing

euros money laundering

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission has today put forward a comprehensive approach to further strengthen the EU’s fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Commission has published an ambitious and multifaceted Action Plan, which sets out concrete measures that the Commission will take over the next 12 months to better enforce, supervise and coordinate the EU’s rules on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The aim of this new, comprehensive approach is to shut down any remaining loopholes and remove any weak links in the EU’s rules.

Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “We need to put an end to dirty money infiltrating our financial system. Today we are further bolstering our defences to fight money laundering and terrorist financing, with a comprehensive and far-reaching Action Plan. There should be no weak links in our rules and their implementation. We are committed to delivering on all these actions – swiftly and consistently – over the next 12 months. We are also strengthening the EU’s global role in terms of shaping international standards on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing.”

The Commission has also published today a more transparent, refined methodology to identify high-risk third countries that have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing regimes that pose significant threats to the EU’s financial system. This will enhance our engagement with third countries and ensure greater cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Finally, the Commission has also adopted a new list of third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.

Action Plan for a Comprehensive EU policy on Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Today’s Action Plan is built on six pillars, each of which is aimed at improving the EU’s overall fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as strengthening the EU’s global role in this area. When combined, these six pillars will ensure that EU rules are more harmonised and therefore more effective. The rules will be better supervised and there will be better coordination between Member State authorities.

The six pillars are as follows:

  1. Effective application of EU rules: the Commission will continue to monitor closely the implementation of EU rules by Member States to ensure that national rules are in line with the highest possible standards. In parallel, today’s Action Plan encourages the European Banking Authority (EBA) to make full use of its new powers to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
  2. A single EU rulebook: while current EU rules are far-reaching and effective, Member States tend to apply them in a wide variety of different manners. Diverging interpretations of the rules therefore lead to loopholes in our system, which can be exploited by criminals. To combat this, the Commission will propose a more harmonised set of rules in the first quarter of 2021.
  3. EU-level supervision: currently it is up to each Member State to individually supervise EU rules in this area and as a result, gaps can develop in how the rules are supervised. In the first quarter of 2021, the Commission will propose to set up an EU-level supervisor.
  4. A coordination and support mechanism for Member State Financial Intelligence Units: Financial Intelligence Units in Member States play a critical role in identifying transactions and activities that could be linked to criminal activities. In the first quarter of 2021, the Commission will propose to establish an EU mechanism to help further coordinate and support the work of these bodies.
  5. Enforcing EU-level criminal law provisions and information exchange: Judicial and police cooperation, on the basis of EU instruments and institutional arrangements, is essential to ensure the proper exchange of information.The private sector can also play a role in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. The Commission will issue guidance on the role of public-private partnerships to clarify and enhance data sharing.
  6. The EU’s global role: the EU is actively involved within the Financial Action Task Force and on the world stage in shaping international standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. We are determined to step up our efforts so that we are a single global actor in this area. In particular, the EU will need to adjust its approach to third countries with deficiencies in their regime regarding anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing that put our Single Market at risk. The new methodology issued alongside this Action Plan today provides the EU with the necessary tools to do so. Pending the application of the revised methodology, today’s updated EU list ensures better alignment with the latest FATF (Financial Action Task Force) list.

To ensure inclusive discussions on the development of these policies, the Commission launched a public consultation today on the Action Plan. Authorities, stakeholders and citizens will have until 29 July to provide their feedback.

Refined methodology

The Commission has today published a new methodology to identify high-risk third countries that have strategic deficiencies in their national anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing regimes, which pose significant threats to the EU’s financial system. The aim of this new methodology is to provide more clarity and transparency in the process of identifying these third countries. The key new elements concern: (i) the interaction between the EU and FATF listing process; (ii) an enhanced engagement with third countries; and (iii) reinforced consultation of Member States experts.The European Parliament and the Council will have access to all relevant information at the different stages of the procedures, subject to appropriate handling requirements.

Updated List

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), the Commission has a legal obligation to identify high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their regime regarding anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing. Pending the application of the above-mentioned refined methodology, the Commission has today revised its list, taking into account developments at international level since 2018. The new list is now better aligned with the lists published by the FATF.

Countries which have been listed: The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama and Zimbabwe.

Countries which have been delisted: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Guyana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.

The Commission amended the list in the form of a Delegated Regulation. It will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension).Given the Coronavirus crisis, the date of application of today’s Regulation listing third countries – and therefore applying new protective measures – only applies as of 1 October 2020. This is to ensure that all stakeholders have time to prepare appropriately. The delisting of countries, however, is not affected by this and will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal.

Background

The Commission’s Anti-Money Laundering Package of July 2019 highlighted a number of weaknesses in the EU’s anti-money laundering / countering the financing of terrorism framework. While the transposition and entry into force of recent legislation will address some of these issues, other problems remain. In response to this package, the European Parliament and the Council invited the Commission to investigate what steps could be taken to achieve a more harmonised set of rules, better supervision, including at EU level, as well as improved coordination among Financial Intelligence Units. Today’s Action Plan is the Commission’s reply to this call for action, and the first step to achieve the Commission’s priority to deliver a new, comprehensive framework to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. The new methodology to identify and mitigate threats that strategic deficiencies in the anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing of third countries pose to the integrity of the EU’s financial system, also issued today, will further equip the EU to deal with external risks.

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Comments

  1. samir sardana says:

    The Indians excoriate the Pakistanis, for terror, at the FATF. They claim that the Pakistanis allow money laundering for certain “so called terror groups”.

    However the Indian state is,per se, the largest money laundering operation ever.But that is not within the scope of the FATF – except for Iran’s activities with Hezb

    I present the largest money laundering operation in the world sponsored by a state -The Hindoo Notebandi- also called Demonetisation – The greatest loot ever.

    The Demo Scam – which no Indian Newspaper reported – as they were all paid off by the Indian state –.dindooohindoo

    It is the disaster of the Brain of Narendra Modi !

    Part 1

    Conversion Route (Elementary Level – rest to be submitted at the CIC Hearing)

    • Party A has Rs 1 crore of Old Cash (which is obviously unaccounted) and the choice of paying tax and interest thereon has lapsed as there is no VDIS – and post Demo the deemed tax is 100% at the minimum

    • Party B (Stage 1 Converter) has Rs 65 lacs of New Cash – which is given to Party A in lieu of the Old Cash of Rs 1 crores which is then given to Party C to X as under:
    o Party C to X (Stage 2 Converter) are legal entities who trade in Nil VAT/ST products (or under Exemptions and /or Compounding) and are POS Retailers who then , make manual or backdated E-Bills for fictitious sales of items to unknown individuals and deposit the new cash into the bank
    o Party C to X deposit the cash in banks whose books are open for 30-45 days before the date of announcement of the Demo or whose IT systems allow backdating of E- Bank Statements (within the period of reporting to the RBI and other Regulators)

    • Party Z then taps Party A to convert the New cash Received of Rs 70 lacs into a capital entry to clean the cash at a rate of , say 15%, wiring Rs 59 Lacs to Party A, as a capital receipt etc, and taking the Rs 70 lacs of new cash from Party A

    • Party Z which is basically front for Party B – hands the cash to Party B, after charing the custodial, logistics and security charges

    • Party B then resumes the same chain as in Step 2 above, wherein the rate of the conversion, id.est., 30% keeps rising as the DEMO deadline appears

    • Party A can convert the Rs 50 lacs into cash – new and old – at a premium, at any time that it is required

    Notes

    • Since converters had the new cash within a day and as per news reports , even before the announcement of Demo, they have to be part of the establishment
    o If the converters had withdrawn the new notes from the bank, the banks would have tipped off the DRI/ED etc and possibly reported to the RBI – in which case they would be raided (but were not) or they would have to explain why large amounts of cash were withdrawn (for labour wages – although wages are not paid in Rs 2000 notes , agri payments etc) and on specific dates and how/why the banks were satisfied about the same
    o Hence, if the converters got the new cash o/s the Banking system – that is fraud and PROOF THAT THE CONVERTERS ARE PART OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
    o If the converters got the new cash from the banks – it is proof of collusion and fraud by the bankers, as past patterns of withdrawal by bank customers (for labour, wages, agri payments etc), would not support the new notes withdrawal

    • Since converters had TO TRANSPORT CASH ACROSS LOCATIONS, IT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED SECURITY OR PERHAPS STATE SECURITY, they have to be part of the establishment as
    o It is impossible that the state would not be aware of the logistics and security
    o It is impossible that the state would not raid the cash movement

    • Since Party C to X, who would have reported drastic increase in cash sales and deposit of cash into the bank , would not be able to support the same by PAST PATTERNS OF RAW MATERIAL PURCHASES AND TRADING PURCHASES AND SUCH LARGE AMOUNTS OF PURCHASES OF RAW MATERIALS IN CASH – COULD NOT HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY PARTY C TO X , W/O THE SUPPORT OF THE ESTABLISHMENT

    • Cash recovered in the “form of old notes” by the “DRI/ED and the Police” – were all recovered from the “so called originators” and “so called garbage dumps”- w/o “a single case of cash recovered” from “the converters/entry operators”

    • No cash was recovered from the “converters/entry operators (Party B and Party C to X, as stated above)”, who are obviously part of the establishment – which is unusual , as the operators would be having the new currency which o Is either kept in a house/safe or o Stocked in the bank (which would have tipped off the DRI/ED etc or o Transferred the cash around in new stocking points and neither of the 2 above points can happen w/o the support of the establishment

    • Since the GDP is still growing on the “computation mode of GDP on expenditure mode”, and there is “no shortage of notes” of less than Rs 100,it would mean that the Industrial agglomerations typified by the SSI and the Cash sector,have been “able to convert the bank deposits”, back into cash – “obviating the purpose” of the notebandi (Rs 100 is assumed,as the wages are paid in that denomination

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