Belgium Belgium

New Documents

A five-count indictment returned in the Southern District of New York was unsealed on Feb. 22, 2024, charging Andrey Kostin, Vadim Wolfson, and Gannon Bond with violating U.S. sanctions in connection with a home in Colorado and the operation of two superyachts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Western District of Texas announced that Christopher John Pettit was sentenced to 50 years in prison for fraud and money laundering involving deposits his clients made with his law firm.

News

Enforcement Actions

The Bank of Russia revoked the banking license of the Moscow-based joint stock company for systematically failing to comply with the anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing laws and regulations.

The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority issued a £1,008,337 civil money penalty against the Jersey-based financial institution for violating the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Code 2015.


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 : 16/110
Score : 3.94/10

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL i

Rank : 15/179
Score : 76/100

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 50/133
Score : 45/100