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Christian Lindner, German Finance Minister, announced at the weekly cabinet meeting held at the Chancellery, in Berlin on Wednesday, that the German customs department would be strengthened to play a vital role in combating organised crime, money laundering, and the confiscation of illegally obtained assets.
During the news briefing following the weekly cabinet meeting, Lindner described the preventative measures German customs would adopt to combat fraud and money laundering. These preventive measures are predicted to be implemented in the second quarter of 2025.
He added, “Customs will become even more powerful, specialised, and efficient with the new strategy.” “The objective is to identify technical developments on the perpetrator side at an early stage and to be able to counter this successfully,” said Lindner at the news briefing
German authorities, most notably its customs administration, are actively engaged in combating Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs). These flows utilise financial regulations and offshore secrecy systems to facilitate illicit activities.
IFFs handle a variety of criminal activities that take place in Germany, including money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as other crimes related to the border crossing and concealment of fraud and corruption proceeds.
Undoubtedly, customs plays a fundamental role in combating soaring crime rates and financial tracking, essential for tracking down illegally obtained assets, preventing money laundering, and uncovering illicit activities.
“My motto is don’t raise taxes, but enforce laws,” Lindner said.
In accordance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Germany did not do enough to combat money laundering last year. Despite being one of the world’s largest cash centres, it has prosecuted a few people over the crime.
As announced last year, Lindner stated that Germany will create a Federal Financial Criminal Police Office, which is scheduled to become operational in 2024 and will be responsible for combating money laundering and financial crimes.
“We want to complete the conceptual and legislative work this year,” Lindner said.