Belgium

New Documents

The U.S. Justice Department announced that Peter Sotis and Emilie Voissem were convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act for participating in a scheme to export of rebreather diving equipment to Libya.

The Malta Gaming Authority published a series of amendments to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive 3 of 2018 and the Policy on the Eligibility and Ongoing Competency Criteria for Key Persons, including changes to the applicability of suspicious betting reporting requirements.

News

Enforcement Actions

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency entered into a consent order with Jackson, Mississippi-based financial institution, imposing a $4 million civil monetary penalty for violations of the Fair Housing Act.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a consent order requiring the Seattle, Washington-based financial institution to pay a $2.5 million money penalty for failing to implement an adequate Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance program.


Key Documents

Important Facts

  • The U.S. State Department labels Belgium as a major money laundering jurisdiction. The majority of the criminal proceeds laundered in Belgium are derived from foreign criminal activity heavily associated with the recent boom in cocaine importations at the Port of Antwerp. Bulk cash smugglers, the principal money laundering concerns of law enforcement, move European drug proceeds out of the region. Trade in illicit goods through the Port fuels a shadow economy and facilitates the movement of laundered drug money from Belgium back to South America or through intermediary points such as Dubai or Hong Kong. Belgian-based criminal organizations that traffic cocaine within the region use the Belgian banking system, in conjunction with a complex network of shell companies, to integrate the illicit funds into Belgian bank accounts. Also, legitimate businesses, such as real estate, restaurants, diamonds and retail businesses are used to launder drug proceeds. Diamonds are specifically vulnerable to money laundering given their high value and ease of transport. The State Department notes that virtual currencies are increasingly being used in Belgium by criminal networks. To combat money laundering, Belgium has comprehensive know your customer rules and suspicious transaction report requirements.
Source: 2021 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)

Rankings

FATF i | 2013 methodology

Technical Effectiveness
Compliant : 21 High : 0
Largely Compliant : 16 Substantial : 4
Partially Compliant : 3 Moderate : 7
Non-Compliant : 0 Low : 0

Belgium's technical compliance was re-rated in a Sept. 3, 2018 follow-up report

BASEL i

Rank : 118/141
Score : 3.98/10

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL i

Rank : 15/179
Score : 76/100

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 50/133
Score : 45/100