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Embargo: Immediate Friday 19 December 2008
Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659

LORDS EU COMMITTEE LAUNCH NEW INQUIRY INTO MONEY LAUNDERING AND THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM

The House of Lords EU Committee have today launched an inquiry into EU and international cooperation to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The inquiry, which will be undertaken by the Lords EU Sub-Committee on Home Affairs, will look at the role of the EU and it member states in global efforts to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. They will consider the level of international cooperation in detecting and preventing money laundering operations.

The Committee will consider what impact the ruling of the European Court of Justice in the Kadi case will have on EU efforts to tackle the problem. In the Kadi case the ECJ ruled that the EU could not implement a UN Security Council resolution to impose economic sanctions on Yassin Abdullah Kadi, an associate of Osama bin Laden, as Kadi had not had the opportunity to put forward his comments on the proposed sanction order. The case reflects an assumption by the ECJ that it has jurisdiction to review sanctions already imposed by the UN Security Council.

Other questions the Committee will explore include:

  • How effectively have EU Member States and others cooperated in seeking to reduce international money laundering? Is there an effective formal legal framework for criminal justice cooperation in this area?

  • How effectively have the EU and UN cooperated in this area?

  • What are the respective future roles of Europol and Eurojust in countering money laundering and terrorist financing?

  • How effective is the cooperation among and between Financial Intelligence Units?

Commenting Lord Jopling, Chairman of the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Home Affairs, said:

"The international, cross-border fight against terrorism will increasingly rely on cutting off terrorists sources of funding. 

"In the modern world of lightening fast money transfers and terrorists using sophisticated financial vehicles to both generate and distribute funds it is vital that nations and international bodies such as the EU take steps to co-ordinate their efforts on preventing money laundering.

"Our inquiry will look at the EU’s position on this vitally important matter particularly following the Kadi ruling. We invite written evidence from people with an interest in this issue and will begin to hear oral evidence in February."

Notes to Editors

  1. More details on the Committee including the full Call for Evidence can be found at:  www.parliament.uk/hleuf

  2.  The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 30 January 2009.

For more details please contact Owen Williams, Head of Press and Media, House of Lords on 020 7219 8659.