Belgium

New Documents

The U.S. Justice Department unsealed a 21-count superseding indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York that charges 36 alleged members of a New York City-based street gang with conspiring to distribute drugs, firearms trafficking and money laundering, among other crimes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin filed an indictment accusing five defendants of participating in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $1.1 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans.

News

Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Futures Commission issued a disciplinary action against the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., requiring it to pay a $350 million fine for serious supervisory, risk, compliance and anti-money laundering controls deficiencies.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that Goldman Sachs Singapore Pte, the Singapore-based entity of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay a $122 million fine and $61 million in disgorgement to settle its involvement in the 1MDB scandal.


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: 2020 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 : 17/180
Score : 75/100

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 50/133
Score : 45/100