Anti-money laundering—Germany—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-money laundering—Germany—Q&A guide
  • 1. Identify your jurisdiction’s money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. Describe the main elements of these laws.
  • 2. Describe any specific powers to identify proceeds of crime or to require an explanation as to the source of funds.
  • 3. Which government entities enforce your jurisdiction’s money laundering laws?
  • 4. Can both natural and legal persons be prosecuted for money laundering?
  • 5. What constitutes money laundering?
  • 6. Is there any limitation on the types of assets or transactions that can form the basis of a money laundering offence?
  • 7. Generally, what constitute predicate offences?
  • 8. Are there any codified or common law defences to charges of money laundering?
  • 9. What is the range of outcomes in criminal money laundering cases?
  • More...

Anti-money laundering—Germany—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to anti-money laundering in Germany published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2021).

Authors: Park Wirtschaftsstrafrecht—Tobias Eggers; Pieter Wiepjes

1. Identify your jurisdiction’s money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. Describe the main elements of these laws.

Regulations on anti-money laundering are mainly contained in section 261 of the Criminal Code and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. In contrast to section 261 of the Criminal Code, which is a genuine criminal regulation, the Anti-Money Laundering Act belongs to the field of administrative law. Although the Act contains rules to prevent money laundering, it also contains a regulation regarding administrative offences (see section 56). Further distinguishing the two is that section 261 of the Criminal Code is genuinely repressive whereas the regulations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act are of a merely preventative nature.

The key legislative provisions concerning money laundering in Germany are the following:

  1. the Anti-Money Laundering Act;

  2. the Criminal Code (section 261);

  3. the Banking Act (sections 24(c) and 25(g) to (m)); and

  4. the Act on the Supervision of Insurance Undertakings (sections 52 to 55).

On 18 March 2021, further amendments of section 261 entered into force. The legislature implemented the provisions of the EU Directive 2018/1673 to strengthen the basis for effective, consistent criminal prosecution of money

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