New Documents

Spain’s National Court approved the extradition of Joseph James O., a 23-year-old British man, to the United States to face 14 criminal charges for conspiring to launder money, hacking, and other cyber offenses.

Sepblac, Spain’s financial intelligence unit, published its annual report for 2020-2021, containing statistics and supervisory activities undertaken during the period as part of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing efforts.


Enforcement Actions

The Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offences fined Banco Popular Español S.A.U., which is now part of Banco Santander S.A., €1,056,000 for violating anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing norms.

The Supreme Court of Spain imposed a fine of €1 million on Banco Santander for anti-money laundering deficiencies that occurred at Banco Espanol de Credito (Banesto), S.A. between 2007 and 2011. Santander is the universal successor for Banesto.

Important Facts

  • The U.S. Department of State categorizes Spain as a major money laundering jurisdiction. Although the country complies with international AML standards and maintains updated AML regulations, Spain is a trans-shipment point for cross-border illicit flows of drugs entering Europe from North Africa and Central and South America. The most prominent means of laundering money are through smuggling of illicit drug sales, the purchase and sale of real estate, the use of complex networks of companies and legal arrangements, and the exploitation of money or value transfer services and the use of cash couriers. The major sources of criminal proceeds are derived from drug trafficking, organized crime, customs fraud, human trafficking, counterfeit goods and financial support for terrorism. Illicit proceeds also continue to be invested in real estate in the coastal areas in the south and east of the country, but criminal groups also now place money in other sectors, including services, communications, automobiles, art work and the financial sector. The country has had success disabling criminal enterprises and organized criminal groups, as well as identifying complex money laundering  and corruption-related networks. Investigations and prosecutions in 2019 included: a  finding by court in the southern Spanish region that political figures were guilty of corruption-related financial crimes;  law enforcement efforts to break up an international criminal organization that provided virtual currency money laundering services to other criminal groups; and countering laundering activity from Venezuela through properties associated with a former Spanish Ambassador to Venezuela.
Source: 2020 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)  


FATF i | 2013 methodology

Technical Effectiveness
Compliant : 28 High : 1
Largely Compliant : 10 Substantial : 9
Partially Compliant : 2 Moderate : 1
Non-Compliant : 0 Low : 0

Spain's technical compliance was re-rated in a March 20, 2018 follow-up report. FATF re-rated the effectiveness of Spain's AML/CTF framework in a Dec. 4, 2019 follow-up assessment.


Rank : 129/141
Score : 3.66/10


Rank : 30/180
Score : 62/100

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 66/133
Score : 44/100