On 25 August, FATF published the latest MER. Among the comments are that asset confiscation is a strong feature of Germany’s regime; and that the introduction of non-conviction based asset confiscation laws has resulted in the confiscation of significant amounts of criminal proceeds. It also says that Germany’s transition in 2017 to an administrative FIU model has been a positive step towards improving the collection and use of financial intelligence. However, the transition has been challenging and Germany needs to continue to prioritize the implementation of these reforms at the operational level and continue to enhance the collection, analysis, dissemination and use of financial intelligence. Authorities also need to do more to proactively and systematically investigate and prosecute money laundering activity in line with Germany’s risk profile.
CASH-RICH GERMANY CRITICISED BY FATF OVER MONEY LAUNDERING
On 25 August, Euronews reported that Germany has been criticised by FATF for failing to do enough to tackle money laundering, such as by prosecuting very few for the crime despite being one of the globe’s biggest cash centres. It says that an assessment highlights a series of failings, including lack of control of those who handle large sums of money, such as estate agents, adding that while Germany understood the risks, it had not done enough to tackle them. FATF criticised, for instance, the disjointed nature of supervision, with more than 300 regional authorities responsible for monitoring such players, as well as a shortage of personnel. Germany’s score lags far behind France, which FATF also recently assessed.
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