The Council of the European Union (EU) has adopted a new anti-money laundering Directive, which introduces new criminal law provisions and will violate and block criminals ‘ access to financial resources, including those used for terrorist activities.
The new rules include the establishment of minimum rules for the definition of criminal offences and sanctions related to money laundering, Xinhua reports.
Money-laundering activities will be punishable by a maximum prison term of 4 years, and judges may impose additional sanctions and measures.
Aggravating circumstances will apply to cases involving criminal organizations or to crimes committed in the exercise of a certain professional activity.
The new rules also include the possibility of holding legal entities accountable for certain money-laundering operations that may face a number of sanctions, such as exclusion from state aid, placement under judicial control, litigation, etc.
For cross-border cases, the new rules clarify which member state has jurisdiction and how those member States cooperate, as well as how to attract Eurojust.
Once the Directive is published in the official journal of the EU, member States have up to 24 months to transpose it into national law.