Council of Europe Calls for More Cross-Border Financial Probes
23 Jun 2020

The Council of Europe is calling for tougher tools for the fight against organized crime which only in the European Union could be making over 100 billion euro a year while authorities are confiscating just a fragment of its proceeds.

To enhance the powers of investigators, the Council of Europe encouraged member states to consider interconnecting their national bank registries, toughen laws that manage frozen assets,  introduce an EU-wide limitation on cash payments and have financial intelligence experts exchange information better.

The EU has in recent years strengthened its legal framework for countering money-laundering and financing of terrorism. It has also allowed law enforcement authorities more access to financial information. Now it has to allow investigators to work more closely with each other, the Council urged.

“Estimations consider that the proceeds of organised crimes within the EU have reached 110 billion euros (US$123 billion) a year and that confiscation rates remain very low,” a statement from the Council said.

“Financial investigations are therefore of utmost importance for the European Union in preventing and combatting organised crime and terrorism,” it added.

By David Klein, OCCRP, 22 June 2020

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