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Cabinet Approves publication of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020

  • Bill will strengthen existing anti-money laundering legislation and will give effect to provisions of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Helen McEntee T.D., has received Cabinet approval for the publication of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020. The Bill transposes the criminal justice elements of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive and strengthens existing legislation.


Announcing the new Bill, the Minister said, 


I look forward to bringing this legislation before my colleagues in both Houses, and anticipate that this Bill will receive broad, cross-party support.


The Bill includes provisions to:


  • improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries and sets new limits on the use of anonymous pre-paid cards;
  • bring a number of new ‘designated bodies’ under the existing legislation, this includes virtual currency providers and associated online ‘wallet providers’ for virtual currencies as well as dealers and intermediaries in the art trade;
  • prevents credit and financial institutions from creating anonymous safe-deposit boxes;
  • enhance the customer due diligence (CDD) requirements of the existing legislation;
  • provide for Ministerial guidance which will clarify domestic “prominent public functions.


Minister McEntee also noted that,


This Bill is an important piece of legislation for tackling money-laundering. The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process. Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders, and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason.


This new legislation also includes a number of technical amendments to other provisions of Acts already in force.

Note to Editors:


While the Bill transposes certain elements of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the Department of Finance is also engaged in giving effect to certain provisions of the Directive, including those relating to:


  • facilitating increasing transparency on who really owns corporate entities, financial vehicles and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers;
  • ensure the creation of, and access to, centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval


The Minister for Finance has also secured Government Approval to bring forward amendments in respect of the regulation of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), that it is anticipated will be included in the Act. The amendments will ensure that the necessary registration and fitness and probity regime, required by 5AMLD for virtual asset service providers, become statutory requirements. Amendments will also address Ireland’s international obligations, relating to a robust regulatory framework for new technologies, new products and new practices, as identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).