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Reinsalu: EPPO should head future extensive money laundering investigations

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria).
Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria) met with his Nordic and Baltic colleagues in Iceland on Friday, and emphasised that in the future, the investigation of extensive money laundering should be organised by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO).

According to Europol, only 2% of all criminal income is caught in the EU, Reinsalu said in a statement. "In order to ensure that organised crime does not pay off, we must among other things hinder money laundering," he added.

The minister said that the criminal investigation of extensive cross-border money laundering cases would in the future be led internationally by the EPPO; according to Reinsalu, this will improve international cooperation.

EU rules hindering money laundering must also be amended, first and foremost stipulating an EU-wide rule that the burden of reverse proof is in effect in the case of the administrative confiscation of large sums with a suspicion of money laundering.

Along with Finnish Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen, Reinsalu also provided an overview of how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in the justice system in Estonia.

"Data is an extremely valuable tool on today's globally digital market," the Estonian minister said. "When we talk about AI, it is important to find a balance between the free movement of data and privacy. This issue is especially sharp in the justice system, particularly in courts, whic is why it is very welcome that this discussion was once again opened with Nordic and Baltic colleagues today."

The minister showcased several planned activities regarding AI, such as the idea of a robot judge which sould simplify the work of a judge, automatically bringing the necessary information to judges and pre-generating decisions in simpler cases. The minister also discussed the digitalisation of criminal proceedings, one element of which is employing AI to optimise the procedure, i.e. in finding patterns in procedure data or making video material searchable.

The ministers of justice of Nordic and Baltic countries meet every two years. The previous meeting took place in Estonia in September 2016.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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