EU needs to tackle money laundering

 

Sir, – Francesca McDonagh’s article “Shared fraud database key to tackling fraudsters and protecting consumers” (Opinion & Analysis, December 7th) touched upon some really serious issues about how criminals have been able to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic to defraud customers.

This discussion can be broadened to the issue of money laundering. Europol has reported a major surge in highly co-ordinated cybercrime throughout the lockdown period and has warned regulators to expect continued attempts by organised crime groups to exploit a volatile economic situation through money laundering.

Criminals have successfully exposed vulnerabilities in the EU’s single market and the EU banking infrastructure to launder illicit funds. With different money laundering rules in place from member state to member state, criminals have been able to take advantage of various cross-border loopholes in Europe.

Just as Ms McDonagh argues on fraud, it requires a collective effort to tackle money laundering. Europe cannot afford to be seen as a gateway for criminals’ dirty money. A proper harmonised system of anti-money laundering rules in Europe is long overdue.- Yours, etc,

FRANCES

FITZGERALD MEP,

Fine Gael,

Member of the Economic

and Monetary Affairs

Committee of the

European Parliament.