The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Netherlands has published its annual review of 2020. Highlights from this report are discussed below.
In 2020, 1,914 entities reported at least one unusual transaction, while as many as 103,947 suspicious transactions were reported. The number of suspicious transactions increased by 163 per cent compared to 2019.
Notably, on May 21, 2020, the Netherlands implemented its amended AML/CFT law (Wwft), following the guidelines of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The main amendments to Wwft aimed to increase information exchange between Wwft supervisors and other parties, decrease the limit on anonymous prepaid cards from €250 to €150, and impose further obligations related to high-risk third countries.
An important achievement of the FIU of the Netherlands in 2020 came from the organized crime Field Lab called Cryptail. The Field Lab, which began in 2019, aimed to block the influx of drug money from Dark Web trading. In 2020, the Field Lab created a list of ML/TF red flags. The FIU shared this list with various relevant entities and law enforcement authorities. Furthermore, the FATF also incorporated this list in their own list of red flags related to virtual assets.
In 2020, the FIU of the Netherlands also created the Fintell Alliance NL in a collaborative effort with four major banks – ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank and Volksbank. The aim of this alliance is to exchange information and improve the reporting of unusual transactions. It can help better understand criminal networks, their modus operandi, and their ML/TF methods. The Fintell Alliance marked another milestone in cooperation by the FIU of the Netherlands.