In order to fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, vendors who accept cash payments of EUR 10.000 or more (whether in a single or several payment transactions which appear to be linked), must fulfil 3 professional obligations:
- identification of the customer;
- set up of an appropriate internal organisation;
- cooperation with the Financial Intelligence Unit (Cellule de Renseignement Financier - CRF) of the Luxembourg Public Prosecutor (hereinafter FIU).
Who is concerned
Only traders, natural or legal persons, who sell goods (regardless of their value), and who accept cash payments of EUR 10.000 or more (in one or more transactions) are subjected to professional obligations regarding the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
It concerns the following traders in particular (open-ended list):
- jewellers and watchmakers;
- vehicle, plane and boat sellers and dealers;
- gold and precious metal traders;
- dealers in diamonds and other precious stones;
- antique dealers;
- gallery owners and art dealers;
- fur and carpet dealers;
- audiovisual and interior equipment dealers.
How to proceed
Identification of the customer
The vendor must determine the identity of the customer when the latter makes a cash payment in an amount of EUR 10.000 or more (payment in one or several operations which appear to be linked).
In order to identify the customer, the vendor must:
- obtain all probative documents (e.g. identity card or passport, where necessary articles of association of the company, etc.);
- collect information regarding the physical and economic origin of the assets used as payment.
Where transactions with legal persons are concerned or if there is a doubt that the person sent by the customer is acting on his own behalf, the vendor will determine the identity of the natural person who is the beneficial owner of the operation.
The vendor must keep identification documents, as well as documents relating to the transaction for at least 5 years after the end of the business relationship or transaction.
Set up of an appropriate internal organisation
Vendors of high value goods must:
- implement measures and procedures of alertness, reporting, record keeping, internal control, risk assessment and management, compliance management and communication in order to forestall and prevent operations of money laundering or terrorist financing;
- educate their employees and provide them with training that will help them identify operations which might be linked to money laundering or terrorist financing and teach them to take appropriate measures in such cases (special continuous training programme);
- cooperate with the Luxembourg authorities responsible for the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing by quickly reporting to the FIU any suspicion of money laundering and/or terrorist financing (see below) and by providing all supporting documents upon request.
Traders must also:
- appoint a person in charge of implementing the procedures inside the establishment and centralise data (usually it is the owner of the professional qualification upon which the business permit is based);
- provide the FIU, in writing, with the identity and contact details (phone, email, fax) of the person or people in charge of communicating with the FIU.
The FIU must be informed without delay if any of these people is replaced.
Any professional who suspects money laundering or terrorist financing activities (whether the transaction has been refused by the vendor or projected, executed or cancelled by the customer) must report his suspicion to the FIU immediately.
The professional does not need to check if the indications of money laundering or terrorist financing are probative enough. He must report any suspicion immediately.
The professional must:
- refrain from conducting suspicious transactions before informing the FIU, unless it might prevent a prosecution;
- immediately issue a statement of suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing activities (statement and annexes) with the State Prosecutor of the FIU (by mail or fax).
Voluminous annexes must be sent by mail.
Where there is a considerable amount of statements (or annexes), the professional may contact the FIU for permission to submit his statements on electronic media (USB stick or CD ROM).
In case of emergency, the professional may submit his statement directly by phone and then confirm it by submitting the completed statement form within one working day.
For complex cases, the professional may ask the secretary of the FIU for an appointment with a magistrate.
Vendors, their business managers and their employees are prohibited from warning the customer or a third party that information was transmitted to the authorities or that they are being subject to an ongoing investigation into money laundering or terrorist financing.
Who to contact
Economic and Financial Prosecution Office - Financial Information Unit41 B, boulevard Franklin D. Roosevelt
Phone : (+352) 47 59 81 447