Tougher rules on money laundering enter into force

Member States now have 2 years to implement the new measures into national law

Photo: EPA EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos

The new measures to counter money laundering by criminal law enter into force today across the EU. The new rules will ensure that dangerous criminals and terrorists face equally severe penalties for money laundering wherever they are in the EU, with a minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years. Member States now have 24 months to implement the new rules into national law and notify the Commission accordingly. 

 "If we want to catch criminals and terrorists, we have to follow the money. Today, we are beefing up the EU's response to money laundering, making sure that criminals and terrorists no longer get away with illegally gained money and face deserved justice. A Europe that protects is a Europe that effectively prevents and prosecutes criminals,” Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos commented.

“Member States now need to implement the new rules without delay,” Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King added.

The Commission proposed to harmonise offences and sanctions for money laundering across the EU in December 2017. Even though all Member States currently criminalise money laundering, the definitions of this crime as well as the penalties related to it differ across the EU, allowing criminals to effectively "window shop" and exploit the differences between national legislation. With the new rules in force that will be no longer possible.

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