Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria) has sent a letter to EU Commissioner Věra Jourová in which he suggests that large-scale cross-border money laundering investigations could in the future be led by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO).
Reinsalu sent a suggestion to the effect to Jourová, who is the European Union's commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality.
"Illegal money is laundered through complicated schemes involving different countries and companies, both in the EU and outside, before it infiltrates legal economy," Reinsalu wrote in his letter, adding that the financial sector is very international in nature and makes for "fertile soil for money laundering."
There should be a zero tolerance attitude towards money laundering and financial crime in the EU, Reinsalu wrote. To this end, the minister is suggesting an extension of the new European Public Prosecutor's job description to include these issues as well.
"I would like to ask you to look into the possibility of giving the EPPO the powers to lead investigations in the case of cross-border financial crimes, most notably money laundering," Reinsalu wrote.
"Once established, the EPPO will have the most competent prosecutors in the area of financial crime. I believe we should make use of their knowledge and expertise and ensure that no country in the EU can be a comfortable place for money laundering," he added.
Editor: Dario Cavegn