The European Commission does regular risk assessments to not just identify but take steps against the risks that affect the internal market in the EU countries and comes up with solutions to counter these international-level threats. Recently, the EU issued an anti-money laundering directive (AMLD) which is being implemented into the national laws.
Money laundering is an issue that has plagued the entire world. Caused by criminal activities such as tax evasion, terror financing, hiding the source of the criminal proceeds, human trafficking, and money laundering leads to massive corruption. It costs nearly 120 billion dollars in losses to the World Bank every year. The main objective of the Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws is to protect the integrity of the financial system of Europe.
The EU and the Dutch laws on the matter of Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing are interconnected. The Anti-Money Laundering Directive or the AMLD of the EU prevents fraud and guards against misuse of the financial system by individuals or organizations financing terrorists and terror acts. In the Netherlands, the equivalent of this directive is known as Wwft.
The sixth AML Directive was introduced by the EU in November 2018 and came into force in December 2020. As per the directive, the EU parliament issued a list of 22 predicate offenses such as tax crimes, cybercrimes, money laundering, terror financing, and more. Aiding, inciting, and attempting the offenses that come under the directive are now considered punishable. Attorney-at-law Maxim Hodak of Law & More is well-versed in the intricacies of the legislation. To provide the most excellent consultation services when it comes to the new EU AML Directive, Maxim and his team have developed training on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing act (Wwft) for professionals.
“We noticed a huge knowledge gap in the industry and designed this training to bring professionals up-to-speed with the latest EU and Dutch regulations, highlighting their overlaps,”— says Maxim.
Right now, the Netherlands is considered one of the biggest hubs for international criminality involving money laundering. Therefore, the country also has Anti-Money Laundering regulations, obliging all the financial institutions in the country to comply with them. Institutions have to report suspicious transactions to the Netherlands Financial Intelligence Unit or the FIU. The AML obligation in the Netherlands is called Wwft, requiring institutions to do a customer screening before granting an account opening. They must also monitor the customer-business relationship and research the source of funds used in a transaction. When they detect an unusual transaction, they investigate and put together a Suspicious Activity Report, then submitted to the FIU. The Dutch FIU regulates the Anti-Money Laundering act in the country alongside the Dutch Ministry of Finance which introduced the Money Laundering and the Financing Terrorism Act and the Sanctions Act. Law & More applies a personalized approach when it comes to AML-related issues and solving them.
The Wwft applies to a wide range of institutions in the Netherlands. These institutions are divided into categories: banks, other financial institutions, and concerned professionals. Tax advisors, real estate agents, pawnshops, accountants, and even car dealers fall under the Wwft. It is the business owners’ and entrepreneurs’ responsibility to find out whether the Wwft applies to them. Consulting with a legal advisor such as Law & More will help you to understand every aspect of the Wwft and how it can affect you.
Maxim Hodak is a Netherlands-based Attorney-at-Law. Maxim has extensive expertise in legal matters of corporate and business law. Fluent in Dutch, German, French, English, Russian, and Ukrainian, Maxim is a magnet for multinational businesses. His career comprises 20+ years as an attorney pioneering in establishing compliance across multiple EU jurisdictions. Due to Maxim and his team’s efforts, entrepreneurs, and small- and medium-sized business owners meet all the standards of Dutch law and the laws of other EU countries.
Maxim Hodak is available for an interview upon request.
Law & More is a dynamic multidisciplinary Dutch law firm and tax advisory specializing in Dutch corporate, commercial, and tax law with offices in Eindhoven and Amsterdam. The firm provides legal services to help individuals and businesses comply with the EU and Dutch regulations on anti-money laundering. Armed with their years of experience and an expert team of lawyers, the firm has a success track record of solving legal issues related to the EU and Dutch Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing acts.
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