Germany Prepares Extension of Anti-Money Laundering Law

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Thursday, August 1, 2002
Christian Shroder
On June 21, 2001 the German Bundesrat (Federal Council) approved an anti-money laundering bill passed by the bundestag (House of Representatives) on June 14 that establishes a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which will be responsible for analyzing and collecting information on suspicious transactions (see BR 492/02). The bill will bring new professions as attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, tax advisors and notaries within the coverage of the existing money laundering law. Once President Johannes Rau signs and publishes the bill in the Federal Bulletin it will become law. In additional to the European Directive requirements, Germany transforms with this bill many of the forty guidelines given by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FAFT). As to one major task the bill creates a new Financial Intelligence Unit which is integrated in the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation). This unit shall collect and analyze all incoming suspicious cases and share the information with other centralized Anti-Money Laundering units in foreign countries. Finally, the bill tries to implement lessons form the old Anti-Money Laundering Act. This means mainly the consideration of the strengthened use of new money movement techniques, such as the use of electronic transactions.