Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 330

Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Commercial Crime Insurance in Asia

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 5 dicembre 2019

A new policy designed to help companies address the exposures of a changing fraud landscape.“Corporate fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated as technology advances at an exponential pace across the globe. Companies now face new threats and are tasked with protecting both traditional and digital assets,” said Scotland Walsh-Riddle, Head of Executive & Professional Lines, BHSI Asia. “Our policy is important protection for a company’s balance sheet by both insuring against losses arising from a wide range of threats and providing support to investigate the cause of a loss.” BHSI’s Commercial Crime Insurance Policy offers concise contract language for commercial organizations and includes coverage for both traditional employee crime and external crimes, including funds transfer fraud, credit card fraud, forgery, and impersonation coverage. Impersonation coverage responds to losses arising when a perpetrator impersonates an employee, executive or business associate of the insured for the purpose of defrauding the insured. “Impersonation fraud is quickly becoming a systemic issue around the world. We’ve recently seen a social engineering scheme utilize artificial intelligence-based software to impersonate an executive. These schemes are testing the boundaries of what companies can prepare for – and we are committed to helping our customers protect against this rising threat,” said Scotland.The Commercial Crime Insurance Policy also includes numerous extensions, including coverage for lost establishment fees an insured incurs to establish the existence and quantum of a loss. “The Commercial Crime Policy was crafted with BHSI’s clear and concise underwriting and is backed by our excellent claims handling,” said Scotland. “Through BHSI’s unparalleled financial strength and experience, our customers and brokers can have the confidence BHSI will be there when it matters most.”

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The Industry’s First Financial Crime Management Ecosystem

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 5 novembre 2019

Helping financial services organizations keep up with a changing market landscape, NICE Actimize, a NICE business (Nasdaq: NICE) and leader in Autonomous Financial Crime Management, today announced that three new technology partners have joined the fast-growing X-Sight Marketplace, the industry’s first financial crime risk management-focused ecosystem. X-Sight Marketplace helps financial services organizations evaluate new point solutions and move to stay on top of a challenging regulatory and criminal environment. The recent additions include Vital4, an innovative data solution provider in the AML/KYC market which enables businesses to identify individuals and entities which pose a financial crime risk; Raidiam, specialists in identity and authentication processes; and RegSmart, which collects and analyzes data based on the latest regulatory guidance and provides advice to manage regulatory risk.X-Sight Marketplace leverages the X-Sight Platform-as-a-Service and further expands the functionality offered by the platform. The NICE Actimize X-Sight Platform-as-a-Service offers a single, unified, cost-effective way for financial services organizations to rapidly innovate and introduce new services while supporting best-in-class financial crime, risk and compliance management capabilities.
Technology providers, such as Vital4, Raidiam, and RegSmart, that partner with NICE Actimize’s X-Sight Marketplace ecosystem, are reviewed for their ability to complement financial crime and compliance solutions. Once approved, software and service providers become available to the NICE Actimize community via the X-Sight Marketplace. FSOs can quickly browse through X-Sight Marketplace solution categories to find scalable options that solve their unique business problems.

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Fighting crime: faster EU-wide exchange of non-EU nationals’ criminal records

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 17 marzo 2019

The new centralised database will improve the exchange of information in regard to criminal records of non-EU nationals, throughout the EU, contributing to the EU’s fight against cross-border crime and terrorism.The new ECRIS Third Country National (ECRIS-TCN) system will:Enable national authorities to quickly establish whether any EU member state holds criminal records on a non-EU citizen,Include data on dual nationals, who possess the nationality of a third country and of an EU country to ensure that individuals cannot hide past convictions simply by virtue of having two passports. The Parliament and Council negotiators have agreed that Europol, Eurojust and the future European Public Prosecutor’s Office will also have access to ECRIS and the Third Country National system, in addition to judges and prosecutors in EU countries.
The new rules have already been agreed upon by the Parliament and Council negotiators in December, but still require the formal approval of the Council. ECRIS was put in place in 2012 to exchange information on criminal convictions in the EU. However, using the current system to check the criminal records of a non-EU citizen is inefficient. According to the European Commission, in 2014 national authorities used less than five percent of information available in other countries’ criminal records in the conviction cases of third country nationals.

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Improved access to financial information to curb serious crime

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 7 dicembre 2018

New rules improving law enforcement authorities’ access to financial information to investigate serious crimes or terrorism were approved by Civil Liberties Committee.Financial data can offer valuable information to law enforcement authorities and can help them prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute serious crime and terrorism. The new rules aim to improve law enforcement authorities’ access to information and the cross-border exchange of financial information between EU authorities.The new rules agreed on Monday by the Civil Liberties Committee would:
facilitate the competent law enforcement authorities’ access to bank account information on a case-by-case basis,
provide for better cooperation between member states and between law enforcement authorities and the national Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and
provide for deadlines on exchanging information to improve and speed up the process.
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Rapporteur Emil Radev (EPP, BG) said: “The fight against serious crime often depends on timely access to information and on how well competent authorities understand money flows. That is why we need to strengthen the cooperation between financial intelligence units and competent authorities, while preserving their operational independence and autonomy.”
The draft report was approved by 29 to 2, with 6 abstentions. The committee also approved a mandate to start informal talks with the Council, which can start as soon as Parliament as a whole gives its green light.

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Quicker freezing and confiscation of criminal assets to fight organised crime

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 ottobre 2018

Bruxelles. MEPs adopted on Thursday new rules to speed up the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets across the EU.The new rules, already informally agreed between Parliament’s negotiators and EU ministers in June, will make it quicker and simpler for EU member states to ask each other to freeze criminal assets or confiscate criminal property.Depriving criminals of their assets is an important tool for fighting organised crime and terrorism. However, according to a 2016 Europol study, currently only an estimated 1.1% of criminal profits are confiscated in the EU.The new measures include:
introduction of deadlines: an EU country that receives a confiscation order from another EU country will have 45 days to execute the order; cross-border freezing orders have to be executed with the same speed and priority as national ones. Authorities will have four days to freeze the assets if the freezing request is urgent,
standardised documents: standard certificates and forms will be used to ensure that EU countries act faster and communicate more efficiently,
wider scope: where requested, EU countries will be able to confiscate assets from other people connected to the criminal and they can also act in cases where there is no conviction (e.g. if the suspect has fled), and
victims’ rights: victims will be the first in line to receive compensation when confiscated assets are distributed.
Rapporteur Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR) said: “This tool for mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders strengthens European justice. It is fairer for the victims and reinforces our fight against the financing of terrorism. Parliament will be watching closely to ensure that the new rules are implemented fast and effectively.” The new rules still require the formal approval of the Council. They will apply 24 months after their entry into force.
These rules form part of a package of measures to strengthen the EU’s capacity to fight the financing of terrorism and organised crime. Parliament already approved tighter rules against money laundering and cash flows in September.

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ACAMS 14th Annual AML & Financial Crime Conference – Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 Mag 2018

Regulatory changes and technological disruption are currently reshaping European Anti-Financial Crime initiatives. ACAMS’ 14th Annual European AML & Financial Crime Conference brings together industry leading experts to offer insight on the new skills, tools and strategies that will help compliance professionals successfully navigate this era of rapid change. The conference, centered on the theme “Mastering the New Era of European Compliance” will take place at the RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands from May 31 – June 1, 2018. The conference includes a keynote presentation by Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, director for criminal justice at the European Commission, on 5AMLD and its practical implications for compliance professionals.“The role of the AML professional is quickly evolving from one of sub-area specialists to those with a broader knowledge base and diverse skills,” said Rick McDonell, executive director of ACAMS and former executive secretary for the Financial Action Task Force. “Accelerating the evolution of AML compliance practices and professionals will require greater dialogue between the private sector, enforcement bodies and regulators – something ACAMS is well-positioned to facilitate.”
The Europe conference provides in-depth training, regulatory updates and critical solutions to regional AML compliance challenges. It is the largest dedicated AML conference in the region, and represents a unique opportunity for the AML/CTF/anti-financial crime community to meet. Plenary sessions will address topics as 4AMLD & GDPR, Sanctions, the Terrorism Threat in Europe and Cybercrime. Specialist ‘AML Knowledge’ and ‘AML Innovations’ tracks will spotlight the latest breakthroughs in sector technology.“The pace of change in European anti-financial crime policy and practice continues unabated, and topics like artificial intelligence, cybercrime, AML data analytics and how to combat terror financing and human trafficking have never been more important,” said Angela Salter, head of Europe at ACAMS. “This conference brings together current and future leaders of our industry to learn from one another and to connect with their peers across both private and public sectors. We’re proud to be the catalyst for this sharing of cutting-edge best practice and anti-financial crime professional development.”

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Venice Secrets: Crime & Justice

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 marzo 2018

Venezia dal 31 marzo al 1° maggio 2018, presso la prestigiosa location del trecentesco Palazzo Zaguri, in Campo San Maurizio in esclusiva Venice Secrets: Crime & Justice.
Un evento culturale unico che presenterà al pubblico reperti suggestivi e ricostruzioni che narrano di come la Serenissima applicava la Giustizia, in modo severo ma con pene certe e a tratti crudeli. Un percorso espositivo con oltre cinquanta documenti dell’Archivio di Stato di Venezia, associati a oltre sessanta strumenti di morte e tortura, provenienti da musei e collezioni private e pubbliche, italiane e straniere, che condurranno il visitatore alla conoscenza di importanti episodi, dal dramma del doge Francesco Foscari alla congiura del doge Marin Falier, dalla tragica fine del Carmagnola alla prigionia di Giacomo Casanova. L’esposizione rispetta i caratteri storici, architettonici e distributivi di Palazzo Zaguri al fine di fondere contenitore e contenuto, sfruttando le potenziali scenografie offerte dai ricchi ambienti sottoposti ad un attento recupero architettonico. Promotore Mostra: Venice Exhibition srl
Direzione: Morena Flammini Curatore: Davide Busato. Comitato Scientifico: Dr. Davide Busato (Storico), Dr. Michela Dal Borgo (Archivio di Stato di Venezia), Prof. Giovanna Fiume (Università di Palermo), Dr. Roberto Paparella (Museo Criminologico di Casale di Monferrato), Prof. Claudio Povolo (Università di Ca’ Foscari – Venezia) Patrocinio: Comune di Venezia, MIBACT, Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Università di Palermo, Sistema Museale di Ateneo Palermo, Associazione Narni Sotterranea – Comune di Narni, Amici dell’archivio di Stato di Venezia.

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Organised crime: Europol threat assessment debated by Civil Liberties MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 aprile 2017

europolCivil Liberties MEPs debated Europol’s report on serious and organised crime with Europol director Rob Wainwright. Europol’s director Rob Wainwright presented the report on ‘Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment, SOCTA, 2017 to Civil Liberties MEPs on Monday afternoon. The report identifies a number of threats affecting the internal security of the European Union, such as document fraud, money laundering and online trade in illicit goods and services, and gives recommendations to the Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on priorities for the coming four years 2017 – 2021. According to Europol’s analysis, 5.000 criminal networks operate in Europe with people from more than 180 nationalities. The groups are diverse, flexible and can adapt easily to new environments. Drug trafficking counts as the largest criminal market, but also cybercrime, migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and organised property crime, are identified as serious threats and should be priorities for the future fight against organised crime, the report says.The exploitation of the rapid technological developments, such as the use of social media and the dark net, smuggling of unaccompanied minors, fraudulent ID-cards, and whether existing tools to fight cross border crime are sufficient, were among the topics raised by MEPs in the debate. In a separate debate following the SOCTA presentation, MEPs discussed the fight against cybercrime with experts from Europol’s Cybercrime Centre, Eurojust, civil society and data protection experts.

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International police cooperation: MEPs back Europol – Georgia deal to fight terrorism and organised crime

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 dicembre 2016

europolAn agreement establishing police cooperation between Europol and Georgia, aimed at strengthening the mutual fight against terrorism and organised crime, was backed by the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The operational and strategic agreement allow for the exchange of information, including personal data. Such information could come in the form of specialist knowledge, general situation reports, results of strategic analysis and information on criminal investigation procedures and crime-prevention methods. It could also include participation in training activities and advice and support during individual criminal investigations.”There are clear operational needs for Europol to deepen its cooperation with Georgia,” said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) who is Parliament’s rapporteur on the file. “According to Europol, Georgia is increasingly relevant in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, particularly as it is a transit country of so-called foreign fighters and a vital partner in the fight against Georgian organised criminal groups.”The conclusion of this strategic and operational cooperation agreement with Georgia would therefore aid and reinforce the fight against organised crime and would contribute to enhancing international law enforcement co-operation,” he added.Under the current rules established in the Europol Council Decision (2009/371/JHA), Parliament must be consulted only before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries.
However, the rapporteur underlines that with new Europol regulation entering into force from 11 May 2016 and applying from 1 May 2017, the Commission will have to check all existing cooperation agreements to see if they comply with data protection standards and inform Parliament of the outcome of the assessment.Once this new Europol regulation applies, Parliament will get an equal say with the Council on future police cooperation agreements and its approval will be required in order for new agreements to get the green light.
Parliament gave its green light to the agreement by 544 votes in favour to 99 against, with 66 abstentions.

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MEPs demand new rules to improve fight against organised crime and corruption

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 ottobre 2016

europa-261011-cThe Commission should review its legislation against corruption and organised crime to better equip Member States in their fight against criminal organisations operating in the EU, say MEPs in a non-legislative resolution passed on Tuesday. MEPs call for initiatives such as EU-wide rules to seize assets from criminal organisations to re-use for social purposes and protection of whistle-blowers.In the resolution, MEPs demand the adoption of a European Action Plan to eradicate organised crime, fraud and corruption as outlined in its resolution of 2013. They stress that this must be a political priority for the EU and that police and judicial cooperation between Member States is therefore crucial.“Europe needs to understand the complex issue of organised crime and the danger arising from the infiltration of criminal associations into the social, economic, and political fabric of the Member States,” said rapporteur Laura Ferrara (IT, EFDD).“The criminal codes of Member States need to be fit for the challenge. This is why I call for urgent and incisive regulatory action at European level to provide law enforcement authorities with the necessary tools to properly fight organised crime groups across Europe. The EU Commission is also asked to draw up “blacklists of any undertakings which have proven links with organised crime or engaged in corrupt practices” and to “bar them from entering into an economic relationship with a public authority and benefitting from EU funds”. Further, a specialist Europol unit should be created to combat organised criminal groups “which operate in several sectors at the same time,” the resolution reads. MEPs also ask for common rules for protecting whistle-blowers before the end of 2017. The Commission should establish mandatory rules to ban people who have been convicted or participated in organised crime or other serious offences from standing for election or to work in or for the public administration – including EU institutions. MEPs believe that employing a common method for seizing criminal organisations’ assets in the EU would be a deterrent to criminals. They call on the Commission to strengthen EU measures on “promoting the management of frozen and confiscated property and its re-use for social purposes” and as compensation for businesses and families of victims.

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International police cooperation: Civil Liberties MEPs back draft deal with China to fight organised crime

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 27 settembre 2016

pechinoA draft agreement establishing police cooperation between Europol and China to strengthen the mutual fight against organised crime, such as trafficking in human beings, drug related crimes and cybercrime, was endorsed by Civil Liberties MEPs on Monday afternoon.
The new cooperation agreement allows for strategic cooperation only. This could involve exchange of information such as specialist knowledge, general situation reports, strategic analysis, information on criminal investigation procedures and the provision of advice and support in individual criminal investigations. The strategic agreement does not allow for any exchange of personal data.
According to Europol, China is increasingly relevant as a source-, destination- and transit-country in the fight against organized crime, such as facilitated illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings, drug related crimes, euro-counterfeiting, Intellectual Property Rights infringements, sport corruption, as well as cybercrime and money laundering related activities. Furthermore, China is home to several high-impact organized criminal groups.Under the current rules, Parliament must only be consulted before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries. However, in the recently concluded talks on new rules to govern Europol, Parliament’s negotiators insisted on inserting a review clause on all such agreements.This means that all existing international agreements between Europol and third countries will be assessed within five years after the entry into force of the new regulation in order to check that they comply fully with data protection standards and meet EU standards on policing.
Under the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament decides on an equal footing with Council on Europol. Once the new Europol regulation enters into force in 2017, Parliament is required to give the green light to new international police agreements.The committee endorsed the draft recommendation to establish police cooperation with China by 30 votes to 6, with 5 abstentions. The draft recommendation is scheduled for a Plenary vote during the first week of October in Strasbourg.

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Cybercrime e dintorni, tra attualità e (prossimo) futuro

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 17 Mag 2016

internetRoma Mercoledi 18 maggio dalle ore 17.15 alle ore 19.15 Aula Alfa – Dipartimento di Informatica Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza” Relatore: Dr. Roberto Di Legami, Direttore del Servizio di Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni.
Si tratta di una eccezionale risorsa per grandi e piccoli, ma anche di una potenziale fonte di rischi. Ha determinato l’apparizione in scena di reati prima non esistenti, e costituisce elemento facilitatore per la commissione di reati “tradizionali”.
La presenza, poi, di un Deep Web, cioè di un web non indicizzato dai motori di ricerca ed accessibile solamente a mezzo di appositi software, ha reso le cose ancora più difficili. In esso si trova un vero e proprio mercato virtuale, che offre prodotti e servizi illegali, tra i quali anche quelli altamente specializzati per perpetrare minacce informatiche di ogni tipo (c.d. “crime-as-a-service”). Il crime-as-a-service, oltre ad accrescere le competenze dei cybercriminali, offre capacità offensive anche ad altri soggetti, non in possesso di competenze tecnologiche, consentendo loro di portare autonomamente a termine attacchi cibernetici anche significativi. Peraltro, la crescente dipendenza delle società moderne dallo spazio cibernetico rende sempre più grave il danno che può giungere dalla compromissione delle reti o da mirati attacchi attraverso di esse. Le minacce possono originare da qualsiasi punto della rete globale e spesso colpiscono gli anelli più deboli della catena, ossia i soggetti più fragili, o i sistemi meno protetti.
Gruppi criminali con risorse tecnologiche importanti, spesso supportate più o meno apertamente da governi ostili, sono all’origine di diffusi attacchi cyber, connotati dalla “customizzazione” dei malware impiegati, dalla scientifica selezione dei target, che lasciano intendere la presenza di un vero e proprio salto di qualità nelle strategie di attacco e nel livello di sofisticazione tecnologica raggiunta dalle organizzazioni criminali coinvolte.
Il settore bancario e degli intermediatori finanziari non è rimasto esente da tali minacce, consistenti in attacchi informatici ai sistemi di home banking ed alla monetica.
Le sofisticate tecniche di “hackeraggio”, sapientemente precedute da attività di “social engeneering” per acquisire e poi sottrarre i contatti intrattenuti dalle stesse imprese, hanno infatti introdotto nuove modalità di phishing, denominate a seconda dei casi “man-in-the-middle”, “man-in-the browser” o “main-in-the-mail”, a mezzo delle quali gli hackers, dopo essersi inseriti nelle relazioni commerciali tra società, aventi rapporti con l’estero, all’insaputa delle stesse riescono ad impedire il reciproco flusso di corrispondenza elettronica, sostituendosi nell’invio delle mail al fine di indirizzare i dovuti pagamenti su conti correnti nella disponibilità dell’organizzazione criminale.
La Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni, presente in modo capillare sul territorio nazionale con circa 1800 operatori, è competente in via prioritaria sulle quattro macroaree criminali della pedopornografia online, hacking e crimini informatici, financial crime e cyberterrorismo, e provvede alla tutela delle infrastrutture critiche del Paese a mezzo del CNAIPIC (Centro Nazionale Anticrimine Informatico per la Protezione delle Infrastrutture Critiche).
La Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni, vera eccellenza della Polizia di Stato, è oramai un punto di riferimento per tutti gli utilizzatori della Rete. Essa rappresenta un presidio in questo mondo virtuale, una consolidata certezza nell’azione di prevenzione e contrasto del cybercrime, del cyberterrorismo e nella difesa del cyberspazio.

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Fight against terrorism and serious crime

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 aprile 2016

StrasbourgStrasbourg On Wednesday 13 APRIL 2016 14.00 Press room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. MEPs are set to vote on Thursday 14 April on an EU directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data in the fight against terrorism and serious crime.
Negotiators from Parliament and Council reached last December a provisional deal on the legislation, which was endorsed by the Civil Liberties committee on 10 December. The Parliament´s rapporteur was Mr Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK)Under the new rules, airlines will have to hand EU countries their passengers´ data to help combatting terrorism and other forms of serious crime. The data will be kept for 5 years, but after the first six months they will be “masked out”, i.e., all personal identifying information will be rendered invisible.

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How to Protect Your Child’s Safety Online

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 aprile 2016

cybercrimeNowadays kids start using Internet at a very young age, but many are not yet equipped to understand the dangers of revealing too much information online. They are very quick and eager to use Internet-enabled devices, but lack the obvious know-how about online privacy and security, and are often eager to overshare. For example, Symantec, an online security company conducted a study in Singapore, which suggested that more than 1 million people in the country were victims to online crime last year. 20 percent of them said that it was their children who had downloaded a virus or malicious software to the parent¹s or family computer.Another danger is targeted attacks on children by cyberthieves, who pry on young netizens because their identities can be easily manipulated. Criminals, for example, can combine a child¹s Social Security number with a fake date of birth and address to open bank accounts, get credit cards or loans.As children grow, they learn the safe procedures of using the Internet and sharing information on social media. However, the time before this learning curve is the most dangerous ­ and it¹s when parents and educators could step in and offer guidance.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, anti DDoS & Tor Over VPN. It has just launched a new NordVPN Mac and Android apps that provide a unique algorithm, allowing to automatically connect to the fastest server. The product is very user friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 500 servers worldwide and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy.

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Money laundering: company owner lists to fight tax crime and terrorist financing

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 28 gennaio 2015

european commissionThe ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to people with a “legitimate interest”, such as journalists, under a Parliament/Council deal endorsed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees on Tuesday. The new anti-money laundering directive aims to help to fight money laundering, tax crimes and terrorist financing. New rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved.The fourth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD) will for the first time oblige EU member states to keep central registers of information on the ultimate “beneficial” owners of corporate and other legal entities, as well as trusts. (A “beneficial” owner actually owns or controls a company and its activities and ultimately authorises transactions, whether such ownership is exercised directly or by a proxy).These central registers were not envisaged in the European Commission’s initial proposal, but were included by MEPs in negotiations. The text also requires banks, auditors, lawyers, real estate agents and casinos, among others, to be more vigilant about suspicious transactions made by their clients.The central registers will be accessible to the authorities and their financial intelligence units (without any restriction), to “obliged entities” (such as banks conducting their “customer due diligence” duties), and also to the public (although public access may be subject to online registration of the person requesting it and to a fee to cover administrative costs).To access a register, a person will in any event have to demonstrate a “legitimate interest” in suspected money laundering, terrorist financing and in “predicate” offences that may help to finance them, such as corruption, tax crimes and fraud.These persons (e.g. investigative journalists) could access information such as the beneficial owner’s name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence and details of ownership. Any exemption to the access provided by member states will be possible only “on a case-by-case basis, in exceptional circumstances”.Central register information on trusts will be accessible only to the authorities and “obliged entities”.

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More targeted victim support services needed in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 12 gennaio 2015

A participant holding a poster with drawings and the inscription "We are 12 million European citizen - where are our rights?"Well-resourced, well-aimed victim support is vital to ensure that victims of crime have real access to justice for the suffering they have been caused and ensure their rights are respected. In the first comprehensive assessment of victim support services throughout the European Union, published today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) notes that despite improvements, challenges remain in many Member States.“Assistance must be made available to victims before, during and after criminal proceedings – and not only legal support, but also psychological and emotional,” says FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “In 10 months EU Member States must have transposed the EU Victims’ Directive into national law, and there is still a lot to be done.”To help ensure effective support for victims throughout the EU, FRA makes a number of suggestions in the report, for example:
EU Member States need to ensure the provision of targeted support services, including trauma support and counselling, for victims with specific needs, for example victims with a disability, victims of sexual violence, or irregular migrants who become victims of crime. EU Member States must ensure they comply with obligations in the Victims’ Directive to train police officers and court staff, and make available the additional resources needed to implement these measures.
Bureaucratic hurdles should be removed so that legal aid is made available to victims who are party to criminal proceedings in the same way as it currently is to defendants.Member States should introduce measures that ensure victims have access to information about their rights and available support services, as well as to relevant information about their case.To encourage more victims to come forward and report crimes, EU Member States should ensure that information about victim support is made immediately available by all authorities and public services with which victims come into contact, including the health service.FRA research has consistently found that underreporting is a major obstacle to ensuring victims have full access to their rights. Targeted and practical victim support systems are a crucial element of any strategy to increase trust in the authorities and increase reporting rates, without which it is impossible to improve the investigation and prosecution of crime. In this regard, the Victims’ Directive, or Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is a big step forward. Member States must transpose the articles of the Directive by 16 November 2015.The subject of victim support is closely linked to FRA’s other work on access to justice, discrimination and hate crime, and particularly to the findings of the Agency’s large scale surveys of people who are most often victimised. The results of this work can be found in publications such as the LGBT report, discrimination and hate crime against Jews, or Violence against women.For today’s report, FRA has collected data from all 28 Member States in order to provide information and analysis on current procedures at national level. The publication demonstrates that despite the many challenges, there have been a number of positive developments across Member States. Many of these are listed in the report as promising practices. For example:Some EU Member States such as Belgium, Estonia or Finland ensure that victim support organisations are run either directly at police stations or in their immediate vicinity, making referrals easier.In several Member States, including Denmark, Poland and the United Kingdom, money is raised for victim support services by means of a fund paid into by people on conviction of a criminal offence.Apps have been developed in some Member States such as Spain or Sweden that provide details on court procedure, as well as on locations and contact details.
The Victims’ Directive is just one element of the broader Victims’ Package. Two other pieces of legislation that make up the Package will enter into force on 11 January 2015, which ensure crime victims who are granted protection in one EU country will be eligible for similar protection in another Member State.

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Combating hate crime

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 29 aprile 2014

african_migrants.jpg.crop_displayHate crime does not just harm individual victims, but entire communities, affecting our societies in all their diversity. Research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has consistently found that members of ethnic and religious groups, national minorities, migrants, LGBT people or those with disabilities are faced with prejudice on an everyday basis. The overwhelming majority of victims are, however, reluctant to report their experiences to the authorities or even to civil society organisations. Shortfalls in national data collection methods also mean that many such crimes remain unrecorded, leaving them unresolved and invisible. To discuss these issues and find ways of improving the situation, FRA is organising a seminar together with the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the EU, in cooperation with the Centre of International and European Economic Law (CIEEL). Representatives of almost all EU Member States will participate, as well as experts from international organisations including the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Council of Europe. The focus of the seminar will be on encouraging reporting and improving recording of hate crime.“One of the most shocking findings of our work on hate crime is the fear it instils in whole communities,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “Much still needs doing to build trust among victims that reporting their experiences will lead to recognition of their suffering and the prosecution of perpetrators. At the same time, EU Member States must work to improve their data collection methods to ensure that these crimes finally become visible.”Since its establishment in 2007, FRA has built up a large body of work on hate crime. This includes data on the experiences of groups such as lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender people, Roma and other ethnic minorities. The seminar, entitled How can EU Member States combat hate crime effectively? Encouraging reporting & improving recording, takes place on 28-29 April in Thessaloniki.

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Cross-border crime: make investigations easier, but protect suspects’ rights

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 1 marzo 2014

carcereJudicial authorities asking their colleagues in another EU country to carry out investigations there, e.g. by searching houses or interviewing witnesses, should get a faster and more favourable response thanks to the new “European Investigation Order” rules approved by Parliament on Thursday. In a separate vote, MEPs also called for an overhaul of “European Arrest Warrant” rules which govern the extradition of suspects within the EU. “This instrument will allow effective prosecution of crime, in particular, cross-border crime, for instance related to terrorism, murder, drug trafficking, and corruption. It will also guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”, said Nuno Melo (EPP, PT), rapporteur on the European Investigation Order (EIO) directive, adopted by 467 votes in favour, 22 against and 10 abstentions.”The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) could be called the euro of the justice and home affairs world. It is a very good idea, but it was launched without the support and safeguards necessary to make it strong and sustainable. (…) The operation of the EAW needs to be improved”, said Sarah Ludford (ALDE, UK), rapporteur on the EAW resolution, adopted by 495 votes in favour, 51 against and 11 abstentions.

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EU public prosecutor: MEPs call for clearer scope, defence rights

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 23 febbraio 2014

BruxellesThe powers of the future European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) should be clearer and the EPPO should make sure that defence rights are properly protected in all its activities, said the Civil Liberties Committee in a resolution passed on Thursday.The non-legislative text, approved by 34 votes to 7 with 1 abstention, sets Parliament’s priorities and red lines for giving its consent to the EPPO proposal when the moment comes.The protection of the EU budget against fraud can be better achieved at EU level, MEPs underline. However, they urge member states to clarify the EU prosecutor’s powers and the relationship between the EPPO and other EU bodies, such as Eurojust and OLAF.The committee text also points out that the EPPO’s competences should only be extended to offences other than those affecting the EU’s financial interests under three conditions:when the conduct simultaneously constitutes a crime affecting the EU’s financial interests and other offences;when the offences affecting the EU’s financial interests are predominant; and when the other crimes would be barred from further punishment if they were not prosecuted and brought to judgement together with the offences affecting the EU’s financial interests.The EPPO should ensure a high protection of defence rights in all its activities, MEPs point out, adding that EU minimum standards for procedural rights in criminal procedures should be respected in all the EPPO’s activities.In order to receive Parliament’s consent, the EPPO proposal should include a hierarchy of binding criteria to decide which court exerts jurisdiction over the different cases.

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Parliament endorses EU-wide protection for crime victims Citizens’ rights

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 dicembre 2011

Crime victims to get EU-wide protection

Image by European Parliament via Flickr

Crime victims who are granted protection from their aggressors in one EU Member State will be able to get similar protection if they move to another, under new rules adopted by Parliament on Tuesday. The European Protection Order aims to protect victims of, for instance, gender violence, harassment, abduction, stalking or attempted murder. Member States will have three years to transpose this directive into national law. Measures to protect crime victims from aggressors already exist in all EU Member States but at present they cease to apply if the victim moves to another country. The European Protection Order (EPO) directive, already agreed with national governments, will enable anyone protected under criminal law in one EU state to apply for similar protection if they move to another. “In a nutshell, we will facilitate the movement of victims and we will hamper the movement of their aggressors. Today we have taken an important step forward to protect those who most deserve it”, said Women’s Rights Committee rapporteur Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio (EPP, ES). “Protection will know no borders. There are thousands of victims who will now be able to live in peace”, added Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur Carmen Romero López (S&D, ES). MEPs sought from the outset to make it clearer that the rules should cover all victims of crime, not just victims of gender violence. Most protection measures are granted to female victims of gender violence but an EPO can cover victims of either sex and other crimes too. The rules will apply to victims or possible victims who need protection “against a criminal act of another person which may, in any way, endanger his life, physical, psychological and sexual integrity […] as well as his dignity or personal liberty”. Such acts could include harassment, abduction, stalking and “other forms of indirect coercion”.

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