Minister for Justice brings into force legislation to tackle money laundering

Regulations will bring gambling service providers within scope of anti-money laundering law

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function. File photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function. File photograph: Eric Luke

 

Specialist agencies are to have their powers increased under new anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has signed two statutory instruments bringing into force legislation to tackle money laundering.

The statutory instruments give effect to regulations that will bring gambling service providers within the scope of anti-money laundering law.

Mr Flanagan said money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function.

“Criminals seek to exploit the European Union’s open borders and this EU-wide measure is really important for that reason. I and my Government colleagues are committed to systematically tackling corruption and organised crime,” he said.

The Act aims to strengthen laws combatting money laundering and terrorist financing by obliging designated persons’ - ie. banks and other financial institutions - to carry out due diligence tests. The tests would verify customers’ identity and assess risk.

Other key provisions of the Act include expanding the remit of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) - the body located within An Garda Síochána which receives information from designated persons about suspicious transactions.

New Garda powers to gather financial intelligence will facilitate the detection of criminal activity.

Bookmakers and online gambling providers will also be obliged to carry out customer due diligence, report suspicious transactions, and comply with the other obligations under the Act.

All gambling service providers are captured by the new regulations other than lotteries, bingo, gaming and amusement machines and land-based poker, which were found to be low-risk following a risk assessment of the sector.

The customer due diligence requirements only apply where the amount of money paid to the customer or paid by the customer is more than €2,000.