Fighting crime and terror at a Europe-wide level

05-Feb-2013 @ 16:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

A senior Conservative MEP welcomes today plans for new European measures to combat money-laundering and fight terrorism within the EU.

Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative spokesman on Home Affairs in the European Parliament and Vice President of the European Parliament's Organised Crime Committee, said:

"In the latest available figures (2006) organised crime cost the UK around 15 billion pounds, of which only 125 million was recovered. This is an unacceptably high cost to our economy. It is important that we have the right legislative tools and cooperation at a European level to make sure that we can reach across international borders and recover these assets."

"This money feeds directly into other organised crime activities like human trafficking and terrorism. Criminals increasingly operate across borders and it is essential that we operate at a coordinated level on these kinds of issues."

He was speaking after the European Commission published a new proposal to strengthen the EU’s defences against money laundering and the financing of terrorism by ensuring full traceability of funds.

Mr Kirkhope will be the European Parliament's Rapporteur for the Proposal for a Regulation on the payer and the beneficiary accompanying transfers of funds. This measure sets out to ensure the soundness, integrity and stability of the financial system, to avoid it being exploited by organised crime groups, by updating the EU’s existing Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the Fund Transfers Regulation.

"The best way to shut down crime gangs and stifle terrorist cells is to switch off their supply of money across the continent. Terrorist and criminal gangs operate with no regard for international boundaries. Their money-laundering schemes are often set up to exploit fragmented regulatory and crime-fighting regimes. It is important now that we look at arrangements which strike the right balance between a more co-ordinated response and the need for individual member states to decide their own priorities and procedures."

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