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Rapporteur alarmed by on-going revelations of ‘laundromat’ money laundering, welcomes proposals to enhance EU powers

Mart van de Ven (ALDE, the Netherlands), rapporteur on new challenges in the fight against organised crime and money laundering and himself a lawyer and tax adviser, today welcomed the news that the European Commission proposes to ensure that EU anti-money laundering regulations are properly enforced.

“The very large scale international money laundering seen in recent years is a complex process in which banks are a crucial link. Even since I began examining the so-called ‘laundromats’, new revelations have continued to emerge about the extent of the role played by banks notably in Latvia and Estonia, as well as in my own country, the Netherlands,” said Mr van de Ven.

“The organised criminals and professional money launderers who assist them look for weaknesses in the international regulatory system. It is one thing for them to identify and exploit previously unknown loopholes; but it is completely unacceptable that they can act because financial institutions or national regulators simply fail to apply the existing rules. I therefore welcome the proposal to ensure that EU anti-money laundering regulations are properly enforced.”

“This will not be the end of the story, however,” he added. “The laundromat phenomenon shows that there are vast areas of financial and related activity that remain open to criminal abuse.”