Winning the fight against terrorism and organised crime means winning the fight for financial transparency

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The European Parliament today backed new proposals to tackle money laundering and disrupt the financing of terrorist groups and organised criminals.
 
MEPs Ana Gomes and Peter Simon, who were responsible for the revision of the anti-money laundering directive for the S&D Group, said:
 
“Winning the fight against terrorist groups and organised criminals is only possible if we win the fight for financial transparency. As we saw in the revelations in the Panama Papers, it is not just celebrities and multinational companies that are using the shady parts of the global financial system to hide their money. Criminals and terrorist organisations are using shell companies, trusts and tax havens to hide illegal dealings behind supposedly legitimate business activities. The EU needs much stronger rules on financial transparency to expose this kind of criminal behaviour.
 
“These new rules will apply to all financial institutions and intermediaries and will make it much harder for criminals to launder their illegal gains. The S&D Group has fought hard to ensure that there will be much greater access to information about beneficial ownership of companies and trusts. Shining a light on who is actually benefiting from financial transactions is essential if we want to expose illegal dealings.
 
“Criminal activities are also far too often falling into the cracks between different national jurisdictions. These proposals will help address this by enhancing the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units and ensuring that they work more effectively together. We have also ensured that there are improved checks on third countries that have been identified as risky.
 
“Cutting off the flow of money to terrorist groups and organised criminals is one of the most effective ways of disrupting their activities. These proposals are a big step forward in achieving that.”