EU crackdown on money laundering


Irish people entering or leaving the EU with €10,000 or more in cash will be forced from tomorrow to declare it to customs, the Revenue today confirmed.

The new legislation is part of a major European crackdown on money laundering, with customs officers throughout the EU given the authority to search passengers and their luggage, and seize undeclared cash. The new legislation will come into force in all European states.

The legislation is part of a European Union approach to controlling the movement of cash in a bid to stamp out money laundering and terrorist financing. It complements the EU's Money Laundering Directive, which has already introduced a monitoring of transactions made through credit and financial institutions.

The new regulations take into account a 2002 report by the European Commission that found that between September 1999 and February 2000, EU customs authorities recorded a total of €1.6 billion in cash and other assets such as cheques, securities, gems and precious metals moving in and out of the EU.

Though it is not possible to gauge the exact scale of money laundering via cash movements, the volume of cash being transported presents a potential risk to EU and national interests.