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Irish Central Bank Wants Politicians’ Money-Laundering Checks

Politicians – and their families, and close associates – should be scrutinized carefully to detect potential money laundering, Ireland’s Central Bank Director General for Financial Conduct Derville Rowland said.
Speaking at the unveiling of new guidelines to assist firms to meet obligations to fight money-laundering and counter terrorism financing, she said “politically exposed persons,” should be especially focused on, The Irish Times reported.
She said banks were obliged to carry out “enhanced customer due diligence” with the political sector, both in Ireland and other countries and extend their surveillance more.
“That’s because people who hold – or have held – a high political profile can pose a higher money laundering risk to firms as their position may make them vulnerable to corruption such as accepting bribes or contributions to election campaigns and political parties in return for advantages,” she said.
“The categories of people who can be regarded as politically exposed now also include members of the governing bodies of political parties,” she added.
Effective regulation strengthens the integrity of the financial sector, “and contributes to the safety and security of citizens, by preventing drug dealers, and those engaged in human trafficking, terrorist attacks and organized crime, from using the financial system to support these activities,” she said according to the Irish Mirror.
Rowland also called upon similar scrutiny towards corporations: “Firms should be asking questions like: Who are my customers? Who are the beneficial owners of the accounts they are opening? Do they have links to sectors associated with higher corruption risk?
“Have there been adverse media reports about them? Are they based in countries where economic or financial restrictions apply? Or ones with weak regimes in place to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism?” she said.

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