Tighter EU AML / CTF: football and virtual assets join risk list

The European Commission has added new business activities / industries to a list of high-risk activities. A Commission report on money laundering listed free ports alongside the football industry, golden passports schemes and virtual currencies as new areas of exposures.

Free ports. A Commission explains that free-trade zones may pose a risk as regards counterfeiting, as they allow counterfeiters to land consignments, adapt or otherwise tamper with loads or associated paperwork, and then re-export products without customs intervention, and thus to disguise the nature and original supplier of the goods.

Football. A Commission argues, that risks associated with sport have long been recognised at EU level. Professional football has been assessed since whilst it remains a popular sport it is also a global industry with significant economic impact. Professional football’s complex organisation and lack of transparency have created fertile ground for the use of illegal resources. Questionable sums of money with no apparent or explicable financial return or gain are being invested in the sport.

Golden passports schemes. Recent years have seen a growing trend in schemes by which countries attract investment by granting investors citizenship or residence rights. Concerns have been raised about inherent risks as regards security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive requires enhanced customer due diligence for third-country nationals who apply for residence or citizenship in Member States in exchange for capital or investment in property, government bonds or corporate entities.

A complete report can be found here.

Are you curious how this may impact your business? Please feel free to contact us.

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