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The Cabinet OKs Anti-Money Laundering Bill Affecting Cryptocurrency

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The executive organ of the government of Ireland — the Cabinet — has ratified a bill that would pave the way for the European Union (EU) Fifth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive.

This matter was reported on by the Irish Times.

The directive — which began getting implemented on July 9, 2018 — introduces a new legal framework for European financial watchdogs to supervise and oversee digital currencies to safeguard against money laundering and terrorism financing.

In particular, the directive would extend the scope to crypto platforms and wallet providers, put a stop to the anonymity of bank and savings accounts, and augment information exchange among establishments. EU member states must include the directive into their respective national laws by January 20, 2020.

Aside from recognizing the EU instruction, the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 would strengthen current legislation, that includes the use of “virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of prepaid cards.”

The Minister of Justice, Charlie Flanagan remarked:

“The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process… Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason. Ireland strongly supports the provisions in the fifth EU money laundering directive. ‘’

If the bill is passed, financial establishments would be mandated to conduct more stringent due diligence when it comes to new clients, and would be barred from opening anonymous safe deposit boxes. In addition, the bill would also supposedly allow the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau to gain access to bank records in the course of investigations that involve money laundering.

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