With the implementation of the European Union’s (EU) Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4), which included an emphasis on enhanced customer due diligence (CDD), an inclusion of the gambling sector, and enhanced risk-based approach technology, all member states were required to transpose the new laws into their current regulating structures by June 26, 2017. However, Malta, Latvia, and Spain have yet to fully transpose AMLD4. The European Commission has given these three member states two months to implement AMLD4 but if they fail to do so, they will be brought before the European Court of Justice. Malta believes that it fully transposed the new law in December, but the Commission found it to be incomplete in complying to all anti-money laundering (AML) provisions.
Moreover, the Commission strongly believes that the AML laws are critical to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing and without all member states participating in the highest capacity of the directive, scandals such as the Panama Papers can happen once again.
Additionally, the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) was approved and became effective on July 9, 2018. Member states are expected to have the new laws of the 5th directive integrated by January 10, 2020, which include the identification of beneficial owners of companies operating in the EU, enhancement of controls on virtual currencies, and greater protection for whistle blowers.
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