• The number of communications, minutes, legal proceedings, the amount of the fines and the penalties for money laundering increase
  • The maximum penalty reached 70 million euros, compared to 46 million the previous year

The Executive Service for the Prevention of Money Laundering (Sepblac) received 3,058 reports or communications of suspicious operations in 2012, almost 3% more than in 2011. Acts for control of capital movements rose to 13,379 for a total amount of 3,421 , 5 million euros (double that of the previous year). The maximum penalty was 70 million euros (compared to 46 million the previous year). And, finally, the judicial processes for laundering completed totaled 75 (double that in 2011), with the result of 45 convictions (more than double) and 111 people affected (95 in 2011). Last year, 436 people were arrested for the alleged crime of money laundering (161 in 2011).

These data appear in the Report of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offenses published today. Of the 3,058 communications managed in 2012, 80% (2,449) were received from financial entities; 488, from non-financial entities; and 121, of others (national and foreign supervisors and other physical or legal persons).

The bank restructuring process has been reflected in the figures for communications from banks and savings banks. Thus, the 42.4% increase in those received from banks stands out (up to 1,792), parallel to the decrease in those from savings banks (they fell from 448 in 2011 to 13 in 2012). Also noteworthy is the increase in communications from payment institutions (which happened to the old exchange establishments and transfer managers), from 342 in 2011 to 432.

Among the non-financial sectors (488 communications), the highest number of reports came from notaries (182) and registrars (129). Also with representative values ​​was the professional fund transport sector (73 communications). In the other section (with 121 alerts on suspicious operations), the collaboration of the State security forces and bodies and the customs authorities stands out.

More than 3,400 million euros in minutes

In its activity of controlling capital movements within the national territory, in 2012 Sepblac made 13,379 minutes for a total amount of 3,421.5 million euros (compared to 1,725.5 million in 2011). These are operations that had the required declaration that must accompany any movement of cash greater than 100,000 euros.

As a consequence of infractions for not incorporating the pertinent declaration for amounts greater than 100,000 euros, 8,548 million euros were intervened and sanctions for 7,515 million euros were imposed in 42 minutes. In both cases, the 2011 figures were exceeded (5.98 million intervened and 6.19 million in penalties). Sepblac registered 209,831 operations (207,627 in 2011) that entail cash movements without account reflection for amounts greater than 30,000 euros.

Regarding capital movements at borders for amounts greater than 10,000 euros (which must be declared) Sepblac received 4,235 declarations of entry (for 234 million euros, compared to 220 million in 2011), which did have the appropriate statement; and 6,369 departures for 208 million (259 million in 2011).

Likewise, 533 sanctioning acts were drawn up for seizures of cash at the border above 10,000 euros that did not have the required declaration. The amounts intervened reached 18.45 million and the penalty, 10.73 million.

The investigations for money laundering initiated in 2012 were 436 (3.6% less than in 2011), which affected 6,194 people (7,938 people in 2011). 146 organized groups suspected of money laundering were also investigated (143 groups in 2011). As a consequence of these operations, 436 people were arrested for the crime of money laundering and another 1,428 for possible accessory activity (161 and 1,438 respectively in 2011).

In 2012, 75 judicial processes for money laundering (36 in 2011) were completed in the National Court and Provincial Courts, with 204 people processed (154 people in 2011). At the end of the year, there were 45 convictions for money laundering (20 in 2011) with 111 people convicted (95 in 2011). The fines imposed in these sentences totaled 556 million euros (183.59 million in 2011). These figures do not include minor prosecutions that are the responsibility of the Criminal Courts.

Longer penalties and larger fines

The extension of the reform of the Penal Code in 2010 has meant that the penalties imposed on those convicted of these crimes have increased in this period. From an average prison sentence of 1 year, 8 months and 20 days in 2011, it was passed to 2 years minus 3 days in 2012. Likewise, the maximum sentence was increased: in 2011 it was less than 6 years and in 2012 it was 7 years and 6 months. The sanctions have also been tightened: in 2011 the maximum was 46 million euros and in 2012 it reached 70 million.

The 2012 Prevention Commission Report also reflects data from the Financial Intelligence Center (CICO) related to police operations related to money laundering. In this activity 1,272 bank documents (accounts and cards) were frozen, 22.96 million euros, 230,000 counterfeit euros, 1,576 vehicles, 13,066 kilos of gold, 35,346 kilos of copper, 64,694 kilos of psychotropic substances, 98,642 kilos of medical and adulterating substances and 2,895 electronic units (telephones, computers …).

Due to the relevance of drug trafficking as an underlying crime of money laundering, the Ministry of Justice created an account in the Public Treasury to enter the seizures related to this crime. In 2012, the income in this account reached 21.88 million euros (21.21 million in 2011). In addition, the Treasury judicial appropriations account entered 147,105 million euros in 2012.

The supervisory bodies (Sepblac, Banco de España, CNMV and DG de Seguros) carried out 11 on-site inspections and 43 actions related to money laundering and raised 13 disciplinary proceedings for an amount of 3.24 million euros (1.49 million in 2011).

The total amount of the sanctions imposed administratively by the General Secretariat of the Treasury and Financial Policy, including those related to breaches of the obligation to declare movements in cash, reached 21.49 million euros (19,012 million in 2011).

In the field of international cooperation with countries outside the European Union, the Ministry of Justice received 65 letters rogatory related to money laundering -of which 59% were executed as of October 2013- and formulated 35 letters rogatory to other countries (43% were executed at the end of October).

In 2012, Sepblac handled 899 international requests for collaboration, of which it received 507 and issued 392. In addition, 114 spontaneous referrals of information took place, without the need for a prior request by a country.

At the national level, the Service received 407 requests for information from other national authorities, 70 requests for reports prior to the creation of financial entities, and 51 requests for information on the valuation of significant holdings.

About statistics

International standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing established by the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF / FATF), dependent on the OECD, require countries to prepare and maintain comprehensive statistics on these subjects.

The Statistical Information Report follows the indications of the FATF and includes the information on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing obtained through 25 different national units or organizations with competence in these matters.

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