EU adopts new directive on combating money laundering by criminal law
15 Oct 2018

The Council of the European Union has adopted new rules establishing jail sentences and sanctions for money launderers and terror financiers.

The new directive complements, on the criminal law aspects, the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing which was formally adopted in May 2018.

Under the new rules, money laundering activities will be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 4 years, and judges may impose additional sanctions and measures, such as temporary or permanent exclusion from access to public funding, as well as fines.

Aggravating circumstances will also apply to cases linked to criminal organisations or for offences conducted in the exercise of certain professional activities.

In addition, the measures cover the possibility of holding legal entities liable for certain money laundering activities which can face a range of sanctions (e.g. exclusion from public aid, placement under judicial supervision, judicial winding-up, etc.)

Also included is the removal of obstacles to cross-border judicial and police cooperation by setting common provisions to improve investigations.

For cross-border cases, the new rules clarify which member state has jurisdiction, and how those member states involved cooperate, as well as how to involve Eurojust.


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