belgium criminal law

These settlements are not public. The predicate offence does not have to fall within the territorial jurisdiction of Belgian courts for money laundering itself to be validly prosecuted in Belgium, provided that the predicate offence is incriminated both in Belgium and in the foreign country where the predicate offence was carried out. The Guide to Law Online Belgium contains a selection of Belgian legal; juridical; and governmental sources accessible through the Internet. Before April 2014, when the judicial subdivisions were reformed into the current ones, there were 27 judicial arrondissements and 225 judicial cantons.

Directive 2018/1673 on combatting money laundering by criminal law was adopted on 23 October 2018 and entered into force on 2 December 2018.

It is not necessary for the prosecution to precisely identify the predicate offence as long as it has been demonstrated that the assets have an illicit origin (for instance, because the accused person gave no plausible explanation of the origin of the funds).

The obliged entities must identify the clients with whom they enter into a business relationship or for whom they execute a transaction on an occasional basis, for a total amount of €10,000 or more or in case they execute a transfer of funds in the sense of EU Regulation 2015/847 of €1,000 or more. Companies can be sentenced to pay a maximum fine of €1,600,000. The FATF also observed that the geographic position of Belgium makes it a target for the transit of illegal movements of funds. The criminal court can only approve or reject the plea agreement, without any possibility to amend the sanctions proposed by the public prosecutor. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. If you are a victim of violence or assault, find medical care and report the incident to the police straight away. Are violations of anti-money laundering obligations also subject to criminal sanctions? Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. 1.2       What must be proven by the government to establish money laundering as a criminal offence? Anti-money laundering requirements do not yet exist in Belgium for the cryptocurrency industry. This preliminary title to the code (articles 1–32) contains general provisions regarding criminal prosecutions, civil actions related to crimes, statutes of limitations and the validity of evidence. Register with us FREE Belgian laws can differ from those in your home country, so it is essential that you know what is legal and illegal.

This page was last edited on 31 July 2020, at 23:09. The activities exposed to a high risk of money laundering included the diamond trade, in which Antwerp is a world-leading centre, and sectors in which cash circulates, such as the trade in used cars and gold, as well as the money transfer services. If so, when was the last review? For the criminal offence of money laundering to be established, the prosecution must prove that some specific actions have been carried out by the agent (actus reus) with a certain intention (mens rea). There are no parallel state or provincial criminal offences. This part of the code (articles 216octies–363) lays down the criminal jurisdiction of the courts of assizes, the manner in which their criminal proceedings ought to be conducted, the applicable rules of evidence, as well as the means of recourse against their criminal judgments and rulings (including opposition and appeal in cassation). 68 percent of people felt safe walking alone at night, compared to 67 percent across the whole of the OECD.

In the event the obliged entity does not comply with such injunction, the competent authority can: 2.2       Are there any anti-money laundering requirements imposed by self-regulatory organisations or professional associations? They must report any transaction, regardless of the amount, when they know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that it is related to money laundering. Notwithstanding the criminal and administrative sanctions that can be imposed by the competent authorities (see question 2.8 below), the latter can compel the obliged entities (i) to respect the provisions of the 18 September 2017 Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (hereinafter, “the 18 September 2017 Act”), (ii) to amend their internal organisation, and (iii) to replace their compliance officer and the person within the Board of Directors that is responsible for the implementation, in the company, of the obligations set out by the 18 September 2017 Act. This obligation to report does not entail an obligation for the obliged entities to identify the predicate offence. This part of the code (articles 448–524septies) establishes a number of procedures for specific cases (including amongst others: forgeries, criminal enforcement investigations, crimes committed by certain judicial or executive officers, ...). It also provides them with the possibility to access certain information from FIUs – including data on financial transactions – and also improves the information exchange between FIUs as well as their access to law enforcement information necessary for the performance of their tasks. Development of internal policies, controls and procedures (articles 8 to 15).

The ‘LL.M. No. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. Have a cookie What money laundering predicate offences are included? Links provide access to primary documents; legal commentary; and general government information about specific jurisdictions and topics.

The code is currently still in force.

4.3       Has your country’s anti-money laundering regime been subject to evaluation by an outside organisation, such as the FATF, regional FATFs, Council of Europe (Moneyval) or IMF? make public the offences committed by the obliged entity; impose a daily maximum penalty of €50,000; compel the obliged entity to replace its Board of Directors; suspend or prohibit all or part of the obliged entity’s activities; and. The Brussels region experienced a high level of alcohol-related crime. 1.6       What are the maximum penalties applicable to individuals and legal entities convicted of money laundering? The Code of Criminal Procedure has been amended many times since. More particularly, money laundering refers to three distinct criminal behaviours: Every offence referred to in the Belgian Criminal Code or in another law that can generate assets (such as illicit tax evasion) can be a predicate offence to money laundering. [1], The Code of Criminal Procedure was adopted when Belgium did not exist yet as a sovereign state; at the time it was still part of the First French Empire. Belgian laws can differ from those in your home country, so it is essential that you know what is legal and illegal. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience.

2.6       Is there a government Financial Intelligence Unit (“FIU”) responsible for analysing information reported by financial institutions and businesses subject to anti-money laundering requirements? Grounds for refusing to approve the agreement are essentially threefold: (i) the agreement will be rejected if it has been demonstrated that the suspect’s consent to enter the agreement was not free and informed; (ii) if the agreement does not correspond to the reality of the facts and to their legal characterisation; or (iii) if the sanctions proposed by the prosecution are not proportionate to the facts of the case at hand, to the personality of the defendant and to his/her willingness to compensate for the damage caused.

Notably this fell proportionately higher on the poorer sections of society. This part of the code (articles 407–447bis) establishes the causes for nullity of criminal judgments and rulings, the manner in which cassation proceedings ought to be conducted, as well as the causes and procedures for reopening or retracting old cases.
When travelling on public transport be mindful that thieves often loiter in transportation hubs, such as the Metro and train stations, to prey on travellers in unfamiliar surroundings. There are 27 judicial districts each with a tribunal of first instance for civil and criminal matters, a tribunal of commerce for major business disputes and a labour tribunal for industrial disputes. The capital city, Brussels, has the highest incidence, while the countryside is relatively crime-free.

Your choices will not impact your visit. Log in, Juan Rodriguez - Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, London, and unlock access to three FREE PDF downloads per month. 4.1       If not outlined above, what additional anti-money laundering measures are proposed or under consideration? Customer and operations due diligence (articles 19 to 44). For example, penalties for drugs offences are severe with long prison sentences and heavy fines for possession of narcotics. Who is subject to the requirements and what must be reported under what circumstances? Member States have until 3 December 2020 to implement the Directive into national law. 2.3       Are self-regulatory organisations or professional associations responsible for anti-money laundering compliance and enforcement against their members? This measure allows for increased cooperation between investigative authorities of Member States and authorises them to use in national criminal proceedings evidence gathered in other Member States.

NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Are there parallel state or provincial criminal offences? This title added a number of general provisions regarding criminal proceedings to the code.[3]. Confiscation is mandatory for all the assets on which one of the prohibited acts referred to in article 505, 1st indent, 2° to 4°, BCC, has been carried out, as well as on the proceeds derived from them, even if they do not belong to the convicted person. Brussels is considered safer than large cities in nearby European countries.

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