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Germany moves to fight money laundering

Aims to stop terrorist financing

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- The German government Friday proposed a central registry of bank accounts and a new federal agency to investigate money laundering, part of an new effort to choke off terrorist financing.

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"Efficiency of the fight against money laundering means a more efficient fight against terrorism," said Finance Minister Hans Eichel, who unveiled the package of financial system reforms at a press conference. "The financing patterns for terrorism show very similar patterns to the ones of money laundering."

Saying Germany has "not always been as successful as we would have liked" in the battle against money laundering, Eichel said the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States made it clear that "more rigorous measures must be applied."

Under the proposal, German bank regulators will establish a central registry of bank accounts, and a new unit will be created within the Finance Ministry to track and investigate money laundering.

These reforms should make tracking suspicious transactions easier and quicker, Eichel said. Previously, such monitoring was done on the state level, not by the central government in Berlin.

Eichel said the government plans to "act swiftly" to implement the proposals, "but we also need to work thoroughly. We will therefore need time in the preparations and in the subsequent consultations."



 
 
 
 


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