In accordance with the provisions of the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive, other international instruments and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) established at the OECD, each Member State is obliged to set up a so-called Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) at national level. This is the respective national center for receiving, collecting and analyzing reports on financial transactions that might be related to money laundering or terrorist financing. Until now, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), has taken on this task with a police focus in cooperation with the joint financial investigation groups of customs and police in the federal states. In the meantime, incoming suspicious activity reports are being dealt with by the Land Criminal Court offices in the Joint Financial Disciplinary Groups, while the FIU in the BKA fulfills the tasks of international cooperation and the independent analysis. The number of reported suspicious activity reports has risen steadily over the past ten years. In 2015, nearly 30,000 (2014: approximately 25,000, around 20,000, 2013) were reported as suspicious of the money laundering legislation (including banks, other financial service providers, real estate brokers, freight traders). The Federal Government wants to further intensify the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. In this context, the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) have agreed to reorganize the FIU professionally and organizationally and to relocate it to the BMF’s business area. The Federal Cabinet approved this draft bill on 22 February 2017. In the future, the FIU will, as an administrative center, focus on the comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the suspicious activity reports and will contribute to the workload of the law enforcement authorities through targeted information control. This gives them more capacity for investigations. If the FIU determines, within the scope of its analysis, that an asset is associated with money laundering, terrorist financing or any other criminal offense, it shall transmit its analysis result to the competent law enforcement authority. Other key areas of FIU’s activities will be the exchange of information and cooperation with other domestic supervisory authorities and foreign central offices as well as in exchange with the money laundering authorities. The BMF, with the participation of BMI, has set up an interdepartmental project group FIU (PG FIU) in the General Duties Directorate for the conceptualization and realization of the new central office for financial transaction investigations. In this project group, experts from the federal financial administration, from various police departments of the federal government and the German “Länder” as well as from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, combine their expertise to enable the FIU to make a smooth start in the context of the agreed transfer. Background: A sustainable approach to money laundering and terrorist financing is an important concern of all countries of the European Union (EU) as well as numerous other countries around the world. In line with the global importance, the legal basis for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing is also determined by international standards in Germany. The establishment and the gradual establishment of the Central Office for financial transaction investigations, which will be connected to the Customs Criminal Police Office, will be carried out in a first stage on 1 July 2017. The development of the FIU until the planned final version is scheduled for 2018. For further questions the PG FIU is also available by telephone from 1 March 2017.

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News: IHK-SPEZIAL International | 04/2017