EU Lawmakers Adopt Plan to Create Multiple Financial Crime Agencies
27 Mar 2019

European Union lawmakers on Tuesday adopted a plan to give the economic bloc a new law enforcement agency, financial intelligence unit and watchdog group as part of an effort to clamp down on money laundering.

In a statement, the European Parliament said it had overwhelming approved recommendations from the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance on bolstering the EU’s ability to fight economic malfeasance. The European Commission should “immediately” begin on plans to create a financial crime police force and a separate financial intelligence unit for the bloc, lawmakers said.

The EU should also launch an anti-money laundering watchdog and create a “global tax body” within the United Nations, according to the statement, which also criticized European nations for lacking the “political will” to do more about financial crimes and tax avoidance.

“Member-states are not doing enough and, in the EU, the Council is clearly the weakest link,” said Special Committee Chair Petr Ježek, in the statement. “Without political will, there can be no progress. Europeans deserve better.”

Parliamentarians separately called out specific jurisdictions for their purportedly lax controls on financial crime.

Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands all “display traits of a tax haven and facilitate aggressive tax planning,” the statement said. Malta and Cyprus impose particularly weak due diligence requirements on the issuance of so-called “golden visas” and passports, while Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Sweden should drop their opposition to a digital services tax, lawmakers concluded.

The lawmaking body separately acknowledged that some of the bloc’s largest banks have been implicated for their purported involvement in a massive Russia-led money laundering network.

The statement cites, but makes no further comment on, Danske Bank, Swedbank, Nordea Bank, ING Groep, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, KBG Group, Raiffeisen Bank International, ABN Amro Group, Cooperatieve Rabobank and the Dutch affiliate of Turkiye Garanti Bankasi

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One Response to “EU Lawmakers Adopt Plan to Create Multiple Financial Crime Agencies”
tris hicks

tris hicks March 29, 2019

What would a new law enforcement agency do that Europol does not do already? Why divide resources when they could be stronger together? Unless that is the point.

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