On 5th December, a group of lawyers and notaries who had previously participated in the project training events had the opportunity to join a study visit to the Europol headquarters in Den Haag, The Netherlands. The visit represented the final task of the project, which will formally end on 31st December. Two officers of this European agency welcomed the group and delivered an interesting presentation on their work, based on the questions submitted in advance by the professionals.
The themes addressed included Europol’s mandate and mission, its organisational structure, its competence in the field of AML, its analysis projects and feedback on the Commission AML legislative package. A special focus was given to the European Financial and Economic Centre (EFECC), a structure established by Europol in June 2020 as the answer to the growing threats to the economy and integrity of the financial systems.
The EFEEC aims at the preventions of financial and economic crime in the EU, at promoting the consistent use of financial investigations and asse forfeiture, while forging alliances with public and private entities, and at countering threats such as money laundering, but also pervasive corruption, counterfeiting and fraudulent schemes.
The aim of the visit was to make participants understand the role of Europol in the fight against AML in the global and European framework. At the same time, during the meeting, the role of legal professionals in this fight was recognised as fundamental too, given that 80% of criminal networks reported to Europol make use of legal business structures, and here professionals can often play a role.