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    New measures to combat fraud and prevent money laundering

    The Council of Ministers on Friday approved new measures to prevent money laundering. “These measures extend existing legislation and strengthen the fight against fraud and the financing of terrorism”, Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt said. The current law, dating from 1993, is adapted to the Fourth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

    The new measures include improved national and international cooperation between the competent authorities and the intelligence services, as well as control over the institutions concerned (banks, insurance companies, etc.)

    A UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owners) register is created in which the data of all final beneficiaries of companies or legal entities from all Member States are recorded. This is a first step towards the establishment of a cadastre of wealth. The European directive also provides for the creation of a bank register. The National Contact Point (NCP) of the National Bank will act as a bank register.

    The draft law also revises the administrative sanctions regime and fines in the event of failure or obstruction of inspection work or the proper delivery of information.

    The draft bill was sent to the Council of State for an opinion.

    Maria Novak

    The Brussels Times