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EU parliament passes rules against money-laundering, terror finance

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The European Parliament has approved a series of new measures that would effectively prevent money-laundering and terror financing in countries of the bloc.

The EU parliament on Thursday approved with 574 votes in favor, 13 votes against and 60 abstentions the new rules that would tighten controls on virtual currencies like bitcoin and would help authorities identify owners of so-called letter box companies operating in EU countries.

The chamber based in the French city of Strasbourg said that the new rules were aimed at preventing letter box companies from being used to “launder money, hide wealth and avoid paying taxes.”

As part of the measures, virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers are obliged to apply customer due diligence controls like banks. The parliament said registration was a must for those entities.

“These platforms and providers will also have to be registered, as will currency exchanges and check cashing offices, and trust or company services providers,” the EU parliament said in a statement.

The MEPs also approved a measure to allow data on beneficial owners of trusts to be revealed to investigative journalists and non-government organizations.

The European Commission, the EU executive arm, first proposed the new measures in July 2016 when the EU was faced with terrorist attacks in countries like France and Belgium and amid heightened tensions over the leak of “Panama Papers” in 2015 which showed how the world’s wealthy stashed assets.

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