EMPACT Kick-off 2019: building a unified front throughout Europe to combat financial crime

05 February 2019
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Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Economic Crime

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Money laundering enables and facilitates most, if not all, types of serious and organised crime

Last month marked the kick-off of the 2019 Operational Action Plan for the EMPACT priority ‘Criminal Finances, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery’, an EU-financed initiative led jointly by the French Customs and Judicial Police. On this occasion, financial crime investigators from 25 EU Member States, together with specialists from Europol, CEPOL and Last month marked the kick-off of the 2019 Operational Action Plan for the EMPACT priority ‘Criminal Finances, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery’, an EU-financed initiative led jointly by the French Customs and Judicial Police. On this occasion, financial crime investigators from 25 EU Member States, together with specialists from Europol, CEPOL and the European Commission, convened at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, to agree on ways to tackle this cross-cutting criminal threat.

As Driver of the priority, the head of unit at the French Customs and Excise Department praised the interagency approach of the Police-Customs Drivers’ team and proudly stated that a new financial investigators network arose within this priority.

The Deputy-Head of the French Central office for the Suppression of Serious Financial Crime of the Judicial Police also congratulated the participants for their involvement. It enabled to strengthen cooperation among partners across the EU, create synergies and develop strategies in a brand new approach.

Money laundering is considered the engine of organised crime, enabling and facilitating most, if not all, other types of serious and organised crime. Money laundering sustains and contributes to the growth of criminal markets across the EU and is one of the 13 priorities for fighting organised crime between 2018-2021. The priorities are based on Europol’s Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment and set out by the EU Council’s Policy Cycle.

This meeting officially launched the operational action plan, which coordinates the work of law enforcement in this crime area. The action plan outlines 19 actions to be carried out throughout Europe in the upcoming year. This will include joint actions targeting money laundering syndicates offering money laundering services to other criminal networks, alongside some targeting organised crime groups making use of emerging new payment methods to launder criminal proceeds.

Six EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and two EU Agencies (Europol and CEPOL) have agreed to lead one or more of these operational actions.