The obligations related to combatting money laundering are constantly growing. Initially a duty that was limited to the financial sector and which bore primarily on the proper identification of clients «KYC» (know your client), it has been progressively expanded to apply to a large number of professional sectors that had earlier been ignored. Whether on the Community or international level, this subject is the object of ever-increasing attention from the States.
The extension of the obligations related to combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism to professionals outside the financial sector is fully justified in light of the exposure of many professional sectors to the risks of money laundering as well as the multiplication and complexity of the violations.
In this context, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organisation created in 1989, developed standards to contribute to the application of legislative, regulatory and operational measures notably with regard to combatting money laundering. Thus, a series of recommendations were worked out in order to offer a coordinated response to threats to the integrity of the financial system and to contribute to harmonising the rules on the international level.
Following the introduction of these recommendations on the national level, Luxembourg´s Administration de l´Enregistrement et des Domaines («AED», Land Registration and Estates Department) has - since the Act of 27 October 2010 notably strengthening the legal framework for combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism and modifying the Act of 12 November 2004 on combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism - the authority to monitor and supervise a number of categories of professionals, namely :
1. Real estate brokers established or doing business in Luxembourg ;
2. Accounting professionals within the meaning of article 2 section (2) point d) of the Act of 10 June 1999 on the organisation of the accounting profession ;
3. Persons who professionally exercise in Luxembourg an activity of tax consulting, economic advising or one of the activities described under a) and b) of point 12 of article 2, chapter 1 of the Act of 12 November 2004, as amended, and who are not covered by points 1 to 12 of the Act of 12 November 2004, as amended ;
4. Persons who professionally exercise in Luxembourg an activity of provider of services to companies and fiduciaries and who are not covered by points 1 to 13 of article 2, chapter 1 of the Act of 12 November 2004, as amended ;
5. Natural persons and legal entities trading in goods, only insofar as the payments are made in cash for an amount of at least 15,000 Euros, whether the transaction is performed at one time or in the form of split-up operations that appear to be related.
The anti-money laundering unit of the AED is responsible for introducing and monitoring of the efforts of the AED which consist of strengthening the procedures for combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The primary objective is to guide professionals in successfully incorporating and fulfilling the obligations that are incumbent upon them.
Together with the Anti-Fraud Service of the AED which is responsible for on-site audits amongst professionals, measures are taken to help protect the national economy and combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In this context, particular attention is devoted to the existence and observation of adequate internal control procedures, as well as to the respect of other anti-money laundering obligations.
Finally, the AED is careful to maintain a good cooperation with the Financial Investigation Unit of the Public Prosecutor´s Office associated with the District Court of Luxembourg, as well as with the associations of the professional sectors concerned and the other supervisory authorities (Insurance Commission, Financial Sector Supervisory Commission).