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EU steps up measures against money laundering

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The European Commission said Tuesday it needs to step up the fight against money laundering as criminals and terrorists constantly find new ways around existing regulations.

Accordingly, it plans to make it more difficult to get illicit funds through the financial system and to tighten up information disclosure on money transfers so as to make them more transparent and traceable.

"Flows of dirty money can damage the stability and reputation of the financial sector, while terrorism shakes the very foundations of our society," EU Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said in a statement.

"Our aim is to propose clear rules that reinforce the vigilance by banks, lawyers, accountants and all other professional concerned," Barnier said.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said "dirty money has no place in our economy, whether it comes from drug deals, the illegal guns trade or trafficking in human beings.

"Our banks should never function as laundromats for mafia money, or enable the funding of terrorism."

Notably, the new measures will cover the gambling sector, rather than just casinos as previously, while the minimum cash payment threshold covered will be reduced to $7,500 from $15,000.

The Commission's proposals require approval by the EU's 27 member states and the European Parliament.

Separately, EU Justice Commissioner proposed new legal measures against the counterfeiting of the euro, including strengthening cross-border investigations and introducing minimum penalties for the most serious offences.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130205/eu-steps-measures-against-money-laundering