ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING POLICIES
Money laundering is the processing of criminal proceeds (cash and assets obtained from criminal activities) to disguise their illegal origin. It is a worldwide problem and governments have been taking major steps in recent years to combat it.
Money laundering has been treated as a very serious offence since the passing of the Criminal Justice Act in 1994. The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 and 2013 update Irish anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation and bring it in line with the requirements of the third EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC). Ireland will be required to transpose the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2015/849/EU) into Irish law.
Ireland is also obliged to implement certain recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) the international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing body. Section 7 of the Act defines a money laundering offence in terms of the property that is the "proceeds of criminal conduct". Money laundering offences are committed where a person knows or believes that (or is reckless as to whether or not) the property represents the proceeds of criminal conduct and the person is involved in:
The Act places obligations on 'designated persons' to guard against their businesses being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes. As solicitors, M.D. O’Loughlin & Company Solicitors is a 'designated person'. Designated persons must:
Apply customer due diligence (for example, identify customers or beneficial owners), report suspicious transactions to An Garda Síochána and Revenue and have specific procedures in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing
The Obligation to Report a Suspicious Transaction
In most dealings with M.D. O’Loughlin & Company Solicitors, particularly if it involves court proceedings, the information given to us carries a very high level of confidentiality, known as 'privilege'. In other cases, not involving court proceedings, we will strictly observe your confidentiality even though it is not a privileged occasion. However, in certain limited circumstances, where we suspect that the transaction involves the transfer of assets that are 'tainted' and represent the proceeds of criminal conduct, we have a legal obligation to report the matter to the Revenue Commissioners and the Garda Siochana. For this reason, clients should ensure to clarify the source of their assets with M.D. O’Loughlin & Company Solicitors at an early opportunity, to allay any fears that the assets may be 'tainted'.
CLIENT IDENTITY & ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING POLICIES
Solicitors are subject to statutory ‘Anti-Money Laundering’ (AML) obligations pursuant to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 to 2018, as amended.
The term ‘Anti-Money Laundering (AML) describes a set of controls that require certain bodies such as Solicitors firms that might be targeted by money launderers to introduce measures to prevent money laundering and to report suspicious transactions. It is a set of legislative duties which prescribe the conduct of some professions in the provision of services so as to prevent the misuse of these services as money laundering vehicles.
Therefore as members of Law Society of Ireland before we can act for you, M.D. O’Loughlin & Company Solicitors need to confirm your identity.
The Obligation to Identify the Client
We are obliged to obtain identification from our clients and also to verify that identification with other documentation, such as a utility bill or bank statement. We copy and keep this documentation on file for a period of five years after the transaction has ended.
For Individuals we require:
· a scan/copy of your passport or driver’s licence
· a scan/copy of a recent (within the last 6 months) utility bill or bank statement setting out your usual home address.
For Companies we require:
· A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
· The Memorandum and Articles of Association/Constitution of the company
· A list of Directors, their addresses and dates of birth
You can view the Law Society leaflet which deals with client identity and anti-money laundering here.