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EP committee supports Latvia MEP’s prepared law to combat money laundering

Krišjānis Kariņš/flickr.com/epp group.
European Parliament’s committee has supported Law on the Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism. One of the authors of this law is MEP Krišjānis Kariņš.

«European institutions have made it clear that the fight against those who intentionally rob society will continue. These words are followed up by actions. The law reinforces existing directive and provides the law enforcement authorities new weapons to use against criminals who use offshores and complex schemes to defraud taxes,» said Kariņš after the vote.

The European Parliament notes that the committee’s vote was the last step before the final vote of the parliament’s plenary meeting. The law adds to existing legislation by limiting anonymity provided by virtual money and anonymous payment cards. The final text of the legislative draft provides for adding names of true beneficiaries in a registry. This also applies to owners of trust funds and other foundations. The legislative draft also provides for creation of a registry of bank account and safe owners.

The European Parliament also notes that member states have agreed to support the parliament’s request to make the registry of actual beneficiaries publicly accessible.

Kariņš notes that reaching an agreement on the final redaction of the law with the European Council was a complicated process. Nevertheless, a compromise was reached. This compromise shows that more and more member states understand just how important this fight is.

This law is part of expansive list of measures to ensure better transparency to prevent tax avoidance.

It is estimated that money laundering volumes form up to 5% of the world’s GDP. European member states lose up to one trillion euros every year to unpaid taxes.

The vote on the final redaction of the law is planned for April.


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