On 3 June 2014, the European Commission published a study analysing, among other things, the criminal sanctions available in EU member states for money laundering and frauds with no cash means of payment.

The study aimed to achieve a better understanding of the basic legislative structure and practice of the national criminal penal systems and enable a better assessment of the practical impact of provisions typically included in EU legislative instruments. The study was 11 member states felt to be representative of the major legal systems and traditions of the EU.

What this means for you

An accompanying press release highlights that the study recommends that the EU introduces common minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences, as well as minimum rules on the sanctions applicable to these crimes. This is because it will take away the incentive and possibility for criminals to choose the member state with the most lenient sanctioning system.