Last month, the police and the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service interviewed a lawyer, a tax consultant, an accountant, and a civil law notary about their failure to report unusual transactions or to screen clients properly. It was the first time a lawyer was interrogated as a suspect in the ‘Project on parties failing to report’, according to the Public Prosecution Service.
The lawyer was involved in the sale of a building which contained a coffee shop. The acquisition of ownership was effected in an arrangement by which the lawyer became a co-owner of the building. The arrangement was so unusual that the lawyer should have submitted a report in accordance with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act. He did not file a report either to the dean of the Bar Association or directly to FIU-the Netherlands.
The investigation was launched after the Board of Discipline pronounced a disciplinary conviction in response to a joint complaint by the dean of the Amsterdam Bar Association and the Financial Supervision Office. The Board of Discipline conditionally suspended the lawyer from legal practice.
Under the direction of the Public Prosecution Service, persons and institutions that are suspected of noncompliance with their duty to report unusual transactions have been visited periodically over the past few years.
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