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More effective criminalization of money laundering in Sweden

More effective criminalization of money laundering in Sweden

The Government has submitted to the Swedish Parliament, bill 2013/14:121 on more effective criminalization of money laundering.

The purpose of the draft legislation is to make it possible to fight organized and financial crime more successfully. This requires, inter alia, measures to deprive criminals of their criminal gains and to prevent the proceeds of crime being reinvested and circulated within the legal economy. It has been assessed that the effective criminalization of money laundering, along with adequate options for seizing and confiscating property which was the subject of money laundering, will be important tools.

The bill proposes new legislation on penalties for money laundering offences. Compared to current regulations, the penalty provisions have been redesigned to make them easier to apply. It is also proposed that criminal liability should also include persons who launder profits from their own crimes. Another innovation is that the legislation includes the crime of abetting money laundering, which focuses on persons who, in the course of their business activities, etc. contribute to measures that could reasonably be considered to be for money laundering purposes. Criminal liability is proposed for attempts, preparations and conspiracy to commit non-minor offences.

The bill will also involve some changes to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act. The amendments will mean, inter alia, that reporting to the National Police Board must contain information on property being used in the suspicious transactions of the operator, details on which deposits the customer has with the operator and, where appropriate, details on who has been the recipient in the suspicious transactions. The Act will also be expanded with rules on bans on the right of use. This means that the National Police Board may decide that property or a corresponding value may not to be moved or used.

The current Companies Act contains certain obligations on auditors to notify the Board and, where appropriate, prosecutors of any suspicion of certain crimes being committed by the CEO and/or the Board. The proposed bill will also impose an obligation on auditors to inform the above-mentioned persons of any suspicion of money laundering offences and, if the offence is not minor, the abetting of money laundering in accordance with the Money Laundering Act.

For companies covered by the money laundering rules, this means that a lack of procedures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and a lack of measures to increase due diligence may be penalised.

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