Spike in German Anti-Money Laundering cases

Germany’s federal anti-money laundering unit registered 114,914 suspected cases of money laundering and financing of terrorism last year linked to a total of 355,000 suspicious transactions Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Tuesday.

This represents a leap of nearly 50% year on year.

According to the Financial Intelligence Unit’s 2019 annual report released to the paper, German banks and other financial institutions reported the majority of the cases, as well as notaries and real estate agents.

“One problem for us is that the prosecution of money laundering in Germany isn’t traditionally well established,” Christof Schulte, FIU head, said to Tagesspiegel.

The FIU also registered just over 77,000 ML cases and noted an “extreme vulnerability” in the real estate market specifically relating to dubious business deals.

Germany passed a raft of anti-money laundering measures in November in order to address the problem and bring the country in line with EU AMLD5. Primarily, the legislation imposed stricter regulations on real estate agents, notaries, precious metals dealers and auction houses forcing them to declare suspicious transactions.

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