Dutch gov't to ban cash payments over €3,000 in fight against money laundering

Banning cash payments of over 3 thousand euros, regulating cryptocurrencies, and calling for the 500 euros banknote to be taken out of circulations are two of a large package of measures against money laundering that Ministers Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security sent to parliament on Monday.

Other measures include increasing the capacity of money laundering watchdog FIU Nederland and other investigative authorities, so that they can investigate more reports of suspicious transactions. Banks will be encouraged to share information about suspicious clients. And the Netherlands will advocate for the establishment of a European regulator on money laundering, to better coordinate the fight against this crime on an international level.

The government is also looking into a 'black list' where banks can register clients they suspect are involved in money laundering, according to RTL Z. The government will ask personal data authority AP for advice on this

According to the Ministers, these measures will enable banks to better fulfill their gatekeeper function. A European central regulator will help tackle the cross-border aspect of money laundering. 

Every year an estimated amount of 16 billion euros is laundered in the Netherlands, the Ministers said. This mainly involves proceeds from drug crimes and fraud, more than half of which is estimated to happen abroad. 

"Money laundering is a very big problem that must be tackled together", Finance Minister Hoekstra said. "The government, regulators, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Public Prosecution Service, FIOD, the financial sector and accountants are therefore now joining forces to ensure that criminals cannot get a foothold in our financial system."

"Crime can not pay. Not in the Netherlands, not in Europe and not worldwide", Justice Minister Grapperhaus said. "Through a joint effort, we want to take the approach against money laundering to a higher level. The Netherlands must be among the international leaders in tackling money laundering."

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