Belgium's anti-money laundering (AML) penalties have been highlighted as the most lenient in the European Union.
Research from transaction screening platform Fortytwo Data reveals that the maximum sentence that Belgium passes down for money laundering is just five years. The country does have a separate criminal offence of financing terrorism – which often benefits from money laundering –but this can be more difficult to prosecute.
But it would be wrong for anyone to be complacent about the risks of money laundering in Belgium. With the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) imposing obligations on many in business, nobody in Europe can afford to turn a blind eye to money laundering.
The culture is now one of clamping down on the money launderers in whatever country they function.