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Cyprus Confidential Files remind us of urgency to clamp down on money laundering


22 Nov 2023


Global Europe

Today, the Socialists and Democrats call attention to the pressing issue of money laundering in Europe, exposed once again by the latest scandal of this kind  the Cyprus Confidential Files. Last week, millions of leaked documents, which are currently under investigation, revealed how intermediaries in Cyprus, ranging from accountants and bankers to auditors and lawyers, helped Russian oligarchs circumvent EU sanctions and launder money.

Eero Heinäluoma, S&D MEP and ECON negotiator on the EU anti-money laundering legislation, said:

We requested today's debate because the Cyprus Confidential Files remind us again why Europe urgently needs stronger anti-money laundering rules that will tie the hands of enablers and ensure the enforcement of sanctions. In this spirit, we also call for a full investigation of the auditing giant PwC’s alleged role in helping Russian oligarchs evade EU sanctions.

We are currently working on an agreement in the trilogue negotiations on the new EU anti-money laundering legislation that would clamp down on evasion of sanctions by oligarchs and their enablers. It has to be finalised by the end of the year. 

This is without a doubt one of the key legislative files of this five-year parliamentary mandate. It is also indisputably one of the most necessary, as shown by several scandals over recent years, such as those involving the Danske Bank and Credit Suisse, and now the latest one, the Cyprus Confidential Files.”

Paul Tang, S&D MEP and LIBE negotiator on the EU anti-money laundering legislation, added:

“We must ensure that Russian oligarchs with their superyachts, airplanes and race cars will no longer be able to escape the sanctions introduced by the EU due to Russia’s war against Ukraine. 

This is one of the key objectives of the new EU anti-money laundering legislation currently under negotiations with EU member states. That is why the S&Ds have successfully fought for centralised registration of expensive cars, boats and planes, and for the mandatory disclosure of all goods stored in free zones or customs warehouses. 

The new legislative package will clearly bring the enforcement of sanctions into the realm of the anti-money laundering framework, especially by ensuring a much stronger supervision of intermediaries in the non-financial sector*.” 

*Notes to editors:

More information about the new EU legislation against money laundering and the S&D position on it is available here


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