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 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item Topical Issue Matters
 Header Item Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Order for Second Stage
 Header Item Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Second Stage

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 968 No. 8

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Business of Dáil

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I have to bring to the attention of the House that we are 20 minutes late starting. I understand it is no reflection on the Minister, but we were due to start at 1.55 p.m. I also apologise to those who are viewing on Oireachtas TV.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I offer my apologies to you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, to the staff and to Deputies O'Callaghan, Quinlivan and Mattie McGrath. I mistook the time; I thought it was 2.15 p.m. I apologise and I appreciate your understanding.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher It is well accepted.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Thank you.

Topical Issue Matters

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I wish to advise the House of the following matters in respect of which notice has been given under Standing Order 29A and the name of the Member in each case: (1) Deputy Michael Harty - to discuss the future of rural post offices; (2) Deputy Niamh Smyth - to discuss investment in the emergency department at Cavan General Hospital; (3) Deputy Charlie McConalogue - to discuss the introduction of electronic tagging for sheep; (4) Deputy Thomas Byrne - the need for improvements to water supply in Ratoath, County Meath; (5) Deputy Clare Daly - the need for an investigation into the death of Ann Lovett; (6) Deputy Jackie Cahill - to discuss the protections for subcontractors in State procurement contracts; (7) Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin - to discuss the withdrawal of Coca Cola operations from Athy, County Kildare; (8) Deputy John Lahart - to discuss the proposed changes to the Dublin Bus brand; (9) Deputy Thomas P. Broughan - to discuss serious criminal vandalism at Clongriffin DART station earlier this week; (10) Deputy Martin Ferris - to discuss public liability insurance premiums for small and medium-sized enterprises; and (11) Deputy Mick Wallace - to discuss the conflict in the Golan Heights and Syria, and concern for members of the Defence Forces.

The matters raised by Deputies Thomas P. Broughan, Martin Ferris, Charlie McConalogue and Niamh Smyth have been selected for discussion.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Did the Leas-Cheann Comhairle say electronic tagging?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Tagging of sheep.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Sorry.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher It is a matter for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and not the Department of Justice and Equality.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I thought it was for me and Deputy O'Callaghan.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath The Minister will not do it for the humans.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Maybe Deputy Mattie McGrath has an interest in this as well.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Yes. When is the Minister going to do it?

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Order for Second Stage

Bill entitled An Act to amend the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 to give effect to certain provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC, and to provide for related matters.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I move: "That Second Stage be taken now."

  Question put and agreed to.

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Second Stage

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

The purpose of this important legislation is to transpose in large part the fourth EU money laundering directive. It will also bring Irish law into line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, an international standard-setting body.

We know that by targeting the proceeds of crime we can remove the incentive for the commission of acts of serious and organised crime, such as human trafficking, drug trafficking and fraud. That is why we make it a crime to help to disguise or transfer the origin of illegal gains. That is why we have set up bodies like the Criminal Assets Bureau to freeze moneys obtained through criminal activity. We know that these measures are very effective.

Internationally it is recognised that preventive measures also play an important role. In the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 and before that in the Criminal Justice Act 1994, we have required gatekeepers such as banks and other businesses, which can be used for money laundering or terrorist financing, to take certain actions. They are required to know their customers. They are required to monitor their transactions for suspicious activity. When they see something suspicious, they must report it.

Money laundering and terrorist financing are cross-border phenomena. We have a globalised, open economy and criminals will exploit this to move proceeds from one country to another. For this reason the European Union has long had legislation in this area. Internationally, the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force are applied by 35 member jurisdictions. The FATF monitors and evaluates compliance by those members.

The EU legislation and the FATF recommendations are frequently updated to reflect new trends and ensure they are still relevant. It is the fourth directive, Directive 2015/849, that is being transposed by the Bill. The Bill amends the 2010 Act to bring it in line with the new directive. I emphasise that robust and extensive anti-money laundering laws are already in place in Ireland. The existing 2010 Act runs to 122 sections, with 82 of those sections concerning designated persons and their obligations. This legislative framework is supported by a strong operational capability. A range of bodies are active in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing, including An Garda Síochána, the Criminal Assets Bureau, the Central Bank and my Department.

The anti-money laundering steering committee brings together relevant Departments and agencies to co-ordinate the national response to risks relating to money laundering and terrorist financing. In its most recent evaluation report for Ireland, the FATF found that Ireland has a generally sound and substantially effective legal and institutional anti-money laundering framework. This new legislation will update and enhance that framework and will address many of the remaining gaps identified in the evaluation.

As well as ensuring that Ireland fulfils its EU and international obligations, the Government is committed to tackling white-collar crime in all its forms. The Bill forms part of the package of measures announced last November on which I, together with the Ministers for Finance, and Business, Enterprise and Innovation, are working to combat white-collar crime.

The Minister for Finance and his officials share responsibility for the transposition of this directive. As well as its role in preventing crime, anti-money laundering legislation is aimed at protecting the integrity of the financial system.


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