The role of Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Unit
The Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Unit is responsible for ensuring compliance with certain elements of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing legislation.
The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013, consolidated Ireland’s existing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws.
The Act establishes the Minister for Justice and Equality as a State Competent Authority and as a Competent Authority for the purposes of securing compliance by certain categories of ‘designated persons’ with statutory requirements to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing.
The Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Unit (AMLCU) has been established within the Department to administer the functions of the competent authority under the Act.
Requirements of the Act
The Act places obligations on certain businesses to guard against them being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes. It contains requirements to
- identify customers/beneficial owners
- report suspicious transactions to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners and
- have specific procedures in place to provide to the fullest extent possible for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Compliance monitoring inspections
Compliance monitoring inspections are carried out by AMLCU on an ongoing basis. The businesses involved include:
- high value cash traders such as car sales and jewellers etc
- trust or company service providers
- private members gaming clubs
- unregulated accountants/tax advisers.
It is important to note that the role of the Unit is only to ensure compliance with the Act; it does not in anyway regulate these operations.
Other state agencies
Many other State agencies have a significant role in the issue of combating money-laundering. These include:
- the Department of Finance
- Central Bank
- An Garda Síochána
- Revenue Commissioners
- and certain other professional bodies e.g. Law Society ensuring compliance in respect of Solicitors.