Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 279

New EU-wide penalties for money laundering

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 14 dicembre 2017

Banca europea per gli investimentiNew measures to step up EU fight against money laundering and narrow the scope for organised crime were agreed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday.MEPs seek to introduce EU-wide definitions of money laundering related crimes, including practices that are not currently deemed a crime in in all EU countries, such as “self-laundering” (i.e. where a person who has committed a crime tries to hide the illicit origin of those proceeds).
They also seek an EU-wide minimum term of imprisonment of at least two years in cases with aggravating factors, such as organised crime. Where a judge passes the national maximum jail sentence, it would have to be of at least five years.The aim is to step up cooperation between member states, as the lack of uniform definitions and penalties currently allows criminals to exploit these differences and commit crimes where penalties are lowest.
MEPs added a range of new EU-wide penalties for those convicted of money laundering, as compared to the EU Commission’s proposal. These include:
· barring those convicted from running for public office or holding a position of public servant,
· banning businesses and other legal persons from signing contracts with public authorities, and
· confiscating property and other assets.
The legislative resolution was passed with 39 votes in favour and 4 abstentions.
Parliament’s rapporteur on the file, Ignazio Corrao (EFDD, IT), said: “Today’s vote marks an important milestone in the fight against organised crime at a European level. This directive will deprive criminals of their most important asset, money, and it will make it more difficult for criminal organisations to launder the profits of their criminal activities in the legal economy of the EU. Parliament also clearly stated that imprisonment cannot be the only penalty and provided for new additional measures such as confiscation or the ban on entering into contracts with public authorities or running for elected offices.”
The Civil Liberties Committee also backed a mandate for MEPs to open negotiations with EU governments. The talks will start once the mandate has been endorsed by Parliament as a whole. Following final approval of the directive, member states will have one year to transpose it into their national laws (as against two years in the original Commission proposal).

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