New bill to tackle money laundering
2018-05-01 14:20:33 -
Crime
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  New legislation aimed at stopping illicit gains flowing into the Irish economy has been approved by the Government.
 
  Metro Éireann understands that the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018 will also propose new Garda powers to gather financial intelligence in order to identify criminal activity.
 
  Announcing Cabinet approval for the bill, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said it would reinforce efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in both Ireland and abroad.
 
  It also provides for recent EU anti-money laundering requirements which demand entities such as banks to take a ‘risk-based approach’ to identifying and monitoring customers and business affairs.
 
  “This bill is really important. The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process. Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and this EU-wide measure is really important for that reason,” the minister said.
 
  “I and my Government colleagues are committed to systematically tackling corruption and organised crime and this bill is one aspect of an important package of measures the Government introduced in November.”
 
  The bill first and foremost deals with customer due diligence, putting the onus for risk assessment on financial institutions. 
 
  It also expands the remit of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and requires “extending the designation of a ‘politically exposed person’ [meaning persons holding certain political, judicial or other offices abroad] to those resident in this jurisdiction”. 
 
  In addition, the bill proposes lowering the threshold for determining whether a high-value goods dealer falls under the legislation from €15,000 to €10,000.
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