18 Apr 2018
The European Commission has outlined new measures aimed at providing law enforcement and judicial authorities with wider access to vital evidence and information in financial crime cases.
The rules provide for direct access to bank account information for law enforcement authorities and asset recovery offices, contained in national, centralised registries.
This will enable authorities to identify in which banks a suspect holds accounts, officials say.
Although bank registers are already established by the 4th and 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the new proposal widens the access to law enforcement authorities, and also cross-border access, an EU spokesman told KYC360.
“The 5AMLD makes reference to competent authorities but without defining the term. It is up to Member States to decide which authorities to give access. The 5AMLD only obliges accesses for FIUs.
“The new proposal will oblige Member States to give access to law enforcement authorities and asset recovery offices. This does not mean that access to supervisors etc is excluded. This will remain possible under the 5AMLD at the discretion of Member States,” the spokesman explained.
The proposals provide for “better cooperation” between national law enforcement authorities and the national financial intelligence unit (FIU) as well as between Member States, or cross-border access.
“This includes the possibility for law enforcement to request financial information or analysis from FIUs – including data on financial transactions, as well as the possibility for FIUs to request law enforcement information from their competent national authorities,” the EU explained.
The proposals follow on the EUI’s anti-terrorism package, announced in October 2017.
Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: “By giving law enforcement access to crucial pieces of financial information, we are closing another loophole being exploited by terrorists, and hitting them where it hurts – their finances.”
Count reading this article to your CPD minutes, by signing up to our CPD WalletFREE CPD Wallet