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Lawyers: Money Laundering in Romania

What is the law which governs the offense of money laundering in Romania?

Money laundering offenses are governed by Law no. 656/2002 on preventing and sanctioning money laundering, and the establishment of measures to prevent and combat terrorism financing, republished in 2012.

Under those provisions, the offense of money laundering consists of the following acts:

a) the conversion or transfer of property, knowing that it comes from the commission of crimes, with the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property or in order to help the person who committed the offense from which the goods originated to evade prosecution, trial or execution of sentence;

b) the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership of the assets or rights over them, knowing that such property is derived from criminal activity;

c) the acquisition, possession or use of property, knowing that they originate from crimes.

Knowing the origin of the goods or purpose can be deduced / inferred from objective factual circumstances.

It is useful to note that these provisions and those relating to the offenses committed by legal persons apply irrespective of whether the offense from which the good originated was committed in Romania or abroad.

What is the penalty applicable to the offense of money laundering under the legegal framework in this field?

Money laundering is punishable with imprisonment from 3 to 10 years. Also, the attempt on this offense is also criminalized.

However, the person who committed the crime and who, during the investigation, denounces and facilitates the identification and holding liable other participants in the offenses will be receiving halving the punishment limits set by law.

Can this crime be committed by a legal person?

Yes. The legal framework provides that, in case the act was committed by a legal person, in addition to the fine penalty, the court shall apply, as appropriate, one or more of the complementary penalties applicable to legal persons provided for in the Criminal Code, namely:

a) dissolution of the legal person;

b) suspension of activity or one of the activities of the legal person for a period of 3 months to 3 years;

c) the closure of some workpoints of the legal entity for a period of 3 months to 3 years;

d) prohibition to participate in public procurement procedures for a period of one to three years;

e) placing under judicial supervision;

f) posting or publicating the conviction.

What will happen to the property subject to money laundering?

These goods will be confiscated in accordance with provisions of the new Penal Code. Moreover, if the goods are not subject to confiscation, their equivalent in money or the goods acquired in their place shall be confiscated, as well as income or other material benefits obtained.

If the confiscation can not be distinguished from the property acquired legally, goods up to the value of the goods subject to confiscation shall be confiscated. This applies in terms of income or other material benefits obtained from the goods subject to confiscation, which can not be distinguished from the goods acquired legally.

In order to ensure enforcement of the confiscation, it is mandatory to take precautionary measures.

For which categories of persons do the provisions of the money laundering offense apply?

The following natural or legal persons fall under these provisions:

a) credit institutions and branches of foreign credit institutions in Romania;

b) financial institutions and branches of foreign financial institutions in Romania;

c) private pension fund managers in their own name and for the private pension funds they manage, authorized marketing agents in the private pension system;

d) casinos;

e) auditors, natural and legal persons who provide tax or accounting advice;

f) public notaries, lawyers and other legal practitioners of liberal professions in certain circumstances;

g) service providers for companies and other legal entities, other than those specified in the last two paragraphs;

h) persons with attributions in the privatization process;

i) real estate agents;

j) associations and foundations;

k) other natural or legal persons selling goods and / or services only to the extent that they are based on operations with cash, in lei or in foreign currency, whose minimum limit represents the equivalent in lei of 15.000 euro, whether the transaction is executed in a single operation or in several operations which appear to be linked.

These people must, in their work, adopt measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing and to this end, based on risk, shall apply standard measures, simplified or auxiliary, of knowing the clientele, which enables them to identify, if applicable, the beneficial owner. Also, these people and their employees are obliged not to disclose, besides from the cases provided by law, information held in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing and to not warn customers about the formal complaint.

From the moment an individual, while working for a legal person mentioned above or one of the individuals has suspicions that an operation to be performed is that of money laundering or terrorist financing, must inform the person in charge who immediately notifies the National Office for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering. The appointee analyzes the information received and informs the Office regarding the reasoned reasonable suspicions. The Office acknowledges the receipt of the notification.

The Office shall analyze and process the information, and when it finds that there are serious indications of money laundering or financing of terrorism, immediately notifies the Prosecutor's Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

In case you require more information regarding the offense of money laundering under the legal provisions of Romania or need specialized legal assistance regarding this crime, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys within the law firm Darie, Manea & Associates who will provide accurate and complete information, finding the best solutions for your problems.

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