AML in Ireland

Global financial crimes, particularly money laundering and terrorist financing, present a significant and widespread challenge. The vulnerabilities within financial systems are progressively augmenting the risks associated with financial crimes and evolving money laundering methods. Ireland stands among the nations grappling with these money laundering risks, with concerted efforts aimed at mitigating these concerns through its robust anti-money laundering initiatives, policies, and procedures.

The enactment of the 2010 Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act marked a pivotal step in this direction. This legislation serves to clearly delineate money laundering offenses while outlining specific penalties within the Irish context. Over time, Ireland’s anti-money laundering regulatory framework has undergone revisions to align with the mandates set forth by European Union Directives, particularly the money laundering directive, and the recommendations advocated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Sections 33 to 39 of the CJA 2010 delineate the “Customer Due Diligence” protocols that businesses must institute prior to initiating customer relationships. For AML compliance in Ireland, Customer Due Diligence (CDD) procedures hold paramount significance. As stipulated by CJA 2010 Section 33, firms can commence client account setups before CDD completion, but customer activity remains restricted until CDD is concluded.

A pivotal facet of Customer Due Diligence entails the screening for sanctions, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), and adverse media. Nations impose sanctions to constrain certain individuals, thereby prohibiting businesses from engaging with sanctioned persons. Consequently, implementing sanction screening during customer onboarding becomes mandatory.

PEP, representing “Politically Exposed Person,” signifies individuals with higher propensities for money laundering, corruption, and bribery, as identified by AML authorities. PEPs are deemed higher-risk customers for financial institutions due to their susceptibility to such financial crimes. While PEPs aren’t forbidden from establishing accounts within financial institutions, the imperative lies in detecting PEPs during customer account setup and implementing specialized AML strategies for their oversight.

Adverse media, often referred to as negative media, unveils further risks beyond sanctions and PEPs. Media sources continually broadcast news regarding money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, bribery, human trafficking, and arms smuggling. Mitigating these risks and safeguarding reputation is achieved by incorporating adverse media screening, shielding companies from potential threats.