Bulletin 40

Printable Version

LITHUANIA: Anti-money laundering regime put into special measures

The Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL anti-money laundering compliance committee has applied its enhanced follow-up procedure to Lithuania, ordering it to mitigate some ‘significant vulnerabilities’ regarding investigation and prosecution of money laundering, and the supervision of anti-money laundering activities. Lithuania must report back in mid-2020.

UK: EU 6AMLD will not apply

A UK financial crime expert describes the main money laundering legislative developments of 2018, notably the EU Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD), which EU Member States must transpose into national law by 3 December 2020. It introduces a list of 22 money laundering predicate offences that must be criminalised, as well as additional measures on virtual currencies, punishments for individuals, international cooperation, and the extension of criminal liability to organisations. Unlike the EU 5AMLD, the UK government did not choose to opt-in to this Directive and will not be bound by its provisions.

MONEY LAUNDERING: US criticises extended EU blacklist

The European Commission has adopted a new blacklist of non-EU countries alleged to have weak anti-money laundering regimes, extending it from 16 to 23 countries under criteria imposed by the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The US has sharply criticised the list.

ENFORCEMENT: European law enforcement given open access to bank account ownership information

The European Parliament and the European Council of Ministers have accepted the European Commission’s proposal to speed up law enforcement authorities’ cross-border access to financial information for serious criminal investigations. The so-called security union proposals, first mooted in April 2018, will give police and asset-recovery offices direct access to bank account information contained in national centralised bank account registries, enabling the authorities to identify what banks a suspect holds accounts in. Once it enters into force, Member States will have 24 months to transpose the rules into national legislation.

INTERNATIONAL TAXATION: OECD invites input on digital economy taxation

The OECD has launched a public consultation on possible solutions to the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the world economy, as part of its base erosion and profit shifting project. It hopes to reach a long-term consensus-based solution in 2020.

ASSET RECOVERY: Eurojust describes successes against cross-border fraud

The European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, Eurojust, has published a report describing its asset freezing and recovery casework in the four years to March 2018. In one case, it arranged the urgent execution of a EUR26 million freezing order in less than 24 hours, which prevented the illegal profits from being transferred to other bank accounts.

MONEY LAUNDERING: Follow-up reports leave five countries in special measures

The Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL committee has published follow-up reports on Andorra, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia. It notes that all have improved their anti-money laundering regimes, but has kept all five in the enhanced follow-up process.

SWISS BANKING: France fines UBS EUR4.5 billion

A French court has convicted the Swiss bank UBS of helping wealthy French clients evade tax and of laundering the proceeds of tax fraud. The bank was fined the unprecedented amount of EUR3.7 billion, plus EUR800 million damages. UBS said the conviction was based on ‘unfounded allegations of former employees’ and will appeal.

Source: STEP

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