Amsterdam cracks down on money laundering in hospitality industry

Terrasjes in Amsterdam
Terraces at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. ()

Amsterdam is using a new method to crack down on money laundering in the hospitality industry. The administrative court ruled that the burden of evidence can be switched. Which means that Amsterdam can ask new restaurants or pubs to prove their money is clean before issuing a permit, NOS reports.

Before this ruling, the burden of proof was on the municipality. The city could only revoke a permit if the municipality could prove that the establishment's money was criminally obtained. Now that method is reversed. If the source of the money remains unclear, the permit application will not be processed.

This new method was devised by a special team containing delegates from the municipality, the Public Prosecution Service and the police, among others. The municipality hopes that this will make identifying money laundering easier.

The municipality recently refused a permit for a restaurant on Sloterplas, according to AT5. The Public Prosecutor said that the entrepreneur could not sufficiently demonstrate that the investment money was clean.