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Barnier seeks to tighten money-laundering laws

By Ian Wishart  -  31.01.2013 / 05:47 CET
Companies in the gambling sector will be covered by the rules.
Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for the internal market, is to propose changes to EU law to bolster the fight against money-laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. Under the plan, additional industries would be covered by the EU's anti-money-laundering rules, including, for the first time, companies in the gambling sector.

The proposals, which Barnier will unveil on Tuesday (5 February), are also aimed at tightening and clarifying the rules for identifying the real owner of a company. The revision will update the existing EU anti-money-laundering directive, which dates from 2005, and the fund-transfer regulation, which came into force in 2006, and will follow recommendations made last February by the Financial Action Task Force, the world's anti-money-laundering body. Other changes being proposed by the European Commission include a clarification of the treatment of certain types of customers within the anti-money-laundering framework, such as high-ranking government officials; a reinforcement of the sanctioning powers of the competent national authorities; and a requirement for them to co-ordinate when dealing with cross-border cases.

The proposals stem from a review of existing legislation in April, when Barnier issued a warning about “the ingenuity of criminals to exploit gaps in the framework [knowing] no bounds”. The legislation will have to be approved by EU member states and the European Parliament before it can become law.
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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