Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan Leah Farrell/

'White collar crimes will not be tolerated': Cabinet backing for new anti-money laundering laws

The new bill will give enhanced powers to the gardaí and the Criminal Assets Bureau, Minister Charlie Flanagan said.

JUSTICE MINISTER CHARLIE Flanagan has received the backing from Cabinet today on new anti-money laundering laws which he says will help in Ireland’s plans to build a “very robust legal framework” to tackling white-collar crime.

“So-called white-collar crimes will not be tolerated in Ireland,” he said. “My message to criminals is clear: those engaging in corruption or money laundering in Ireland will not get away with their crimes.”

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 will support the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and An Garda Síochána in accessing bank records and the administration of their functions regarding anti-money laundering.

Contained within the new laws are provisions to prevent risks associated with the use of virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards.

It also aims to improve safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk countries, and enhances the customer due diligence requirements from existing legislation.

The Bill incorporates many provisions from the latest EU directive, but goes further with some of the provisions for gardaí and the CAB.

Flanagan said: “This is another important piece of legislation for tackling money-laundering. The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process.

Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason.

The minister said this new laws will build on existing measures introduced by the government to tackle white-collar crime.

He added that CAB had had an extremely successful 2018, making it clear to criminals that “crime will not pay”.

“I urge anyone with concerns that people are benefitting from the proceeds of crime to contact CAB in confidence,” Flanagan added. “Likewise, I urge anyone with concerns about bribery and corruption to make use of the Garda Confidential Line.”

The Garda Confidential Line can be reached at 1800 40 60 80 while the CAB’s confidential line is on 01 666 3266.

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