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EU adopts tougher anti-money laundering rules

Published : 12 Oct 2018, 02:02

Updated : 12 Oct 2018, 02:10

  DF-Xinhua Report

File Photo Finnish Customs.

The Council of the European Union (EU) on Thursday adopted a new anti-money laundering directive that introduces new criminal law provisions and will disrupt and block access by criminals to financial resources, including those used for terrorist activities.

The new rules include establishing minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences and sanctions relating to money laundering.

Money laundering activities will be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 4 years, and judges may impose additional sanctions and measures.

Aggravating circumstances will apply to cases linked to criminal organizations or for offences conducted in the exercise of certain professional activities.

The new rules also include the possibility of holding legal entities liable for certain money laundering activities which can face a range of sanctions, e.g. exclusion from public aid, placement under judicial supervision, judicial winding-up, etc.

For cross-border cases, the new rules clarify which member state has jurisdiction, and how those member states involved cooperate, as well as how to involve Eurojust.

Once the directive is published in the EU official journal, member states have up to 24 months to transpose it into national law.