By Matthew Getz, Neil Pigott, and David Bufton
Money laundering has remained at the front of people’s minds in the past year, with the leak of the Paradise Papers following 2016’s Panama Papers leak. That led the European Parliament to set up a new investigations committee focusing on companies and individuals flouting money laundering, tax evasion and tax avoidance rules.
EU governments and firms were busy preparing for the June 2017 implementation of the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), which incorporates significant changes to the European anti-money laundering (AML) framework. Not content with one transformation, EU bodies are currently finalising the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD).
The last 12 months has also seen the coming into force of the UK’s Criminal Finances Act, which introduced unexplained wealth orders and created a new offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. With a post-Brexit environment in mind, the United Kingdom has introduced a Sanctions Bill to enable the implementation of sanctions once it leaves the European Union.
Global efforts continue apace with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) maintaining its focus on assessing compliance with the international set of common standards for preventing and protecting against money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
Global AML efforts mean that companies and individuals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa must act to ensure that they have adequate, up-to-date compliance systems to minimise their risk exposure. Such action is of particular importance in a regulatory and enforcement landscape that is increasingly hostile towards alleged money launderers and their facilitators. The global policy drive continues to be translated into a developing set of measures and tools for authorities and the fostering of greater coordination and cooperation across borders. More
(This article was first published by Global Investigations Review on May 24, 2018.)