In a bid to make it harder for drug traffickers, fraudsters, and other bad actors to launder money both in the form of cryptocurrency and fiat, the Netherlands’ Minister of Finance, Wopke Hoekstra, and Minister of Justice, Joseph Grapperhaus, have submitted new anti-money laundering (AML) proposals to the nation’s Lower House of Parliament, according to a statement on July 1, 2019.
Making Life Unbearable for Rogue Actors
Per sources close to the matter, the Dutch Minister of Finance, Wopke Hoekstra and Minister of Justice, Joseph Grapperhaus have proposed more stringent measures aimed at eliminating money laundering in the state.
The two politicians have sent a fresh proposal to the Lower House of Parliament urging them to implement rules that would ban cash payments of 3,000 euros (~$3,390), remove the 500 euros (~$565) banknote from circulation, regulate cryptocurrencies, and also force financial institutions to immediately block and report customers who conduct suspicious transactions.
It is reported that in the Netherlands alone, bad actors launder an estimated 16 billion euros (~$18 billion) annually, in funds generated via drug crimes and other illicit activities.
Now, the ministers firmly believe that the proposed “approach to money laundering” will integrate with existing AML regulations in the region to make it nearly impossible for criminals to launder their ill-gotten riches.
Commenting on the new joint anti-money laundering initiative, Hoekstra reiterated that money laundering has become such a serious issue that it requires immediate attention across all sectors to formulate a lasting solution to the problem.
In his words:
“Money laundering is a very big problem that must be tackled together. The government, regulators, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), OM, FIOD, the financial sector and accountants must work together to ensure that bad actors cannot thrive in our financial system.”
Minister Grapperhaus stated that the proposed joint anti-money laundering effort would totally cripple all forms of money laundering activities in the Netherlands and by extension, Europe.
The officials believe that the effort will make it easier for banks to carry out their gatekeeper functions and the relevant authorities including the police, FIOD, and the Public Prosecution Service will all be strengthened.
In related news, earlier in June 2019, BTCManager informed that the mayor of Vancouver had suggested banning Bitcoin ATMs in the city, citing similar money laundering concerns.