• The number of communications, records, legal proceedings, the amount of fines and penalties for money laundering grows
  • 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 transactions in 2012, almost 3% more than in 2011. The minutes 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 amounted to 75 (double that in 2011), with the result of 45 convictions (more than double) and 111 people affected (95 in 2011). Last year there were 436 people arrested for alleged crime of money laundering (161 in 2011).

These data are contained 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 institutions; 488, from non-financial entities; and 121, of others (national and foreign supervisors and other natural 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 bank receipts (up to 1,792) stands out, parallel to the decrease in those of the banks (they fell from 448 in 2011 to 13 in 2012). It also highlights the increase in communications from payment institutions (which happened to the former exchange and transfer management establishments), from 342 of 2011 to 432.

Among the non-financial sectors (488 communications), the largest number of reports came from notaries (182) and registrars (129). Also with representative values ​​was the sector of professional transport of funds (73 communications). In the section of others (with 121 alerts on suspicious operations), the collaboration of the State security forces and bodies and 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 raised 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 mandatory declaration that must accompany any movement of cash exceeding 100,000 euros.

As a result of infringements for not incorporating the relevant declaration for amounts greater than 100,000 euros, 8,548 million euros were intervened and penalties of 7,515 million euros were imposed in 42 minutes. In both cases the figures for 2011 were exceeded (5.98 million intervened and 6.19 million in penalties). Sepblac recorded 209,831 operations (207,627 in 2011) that carry cash movement without a reflection on account for amounts greater than 30,000 euros.

As for 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) that did have the appropriate statement; and 6,369 departures for 208 million (259 million in 2011).

Likewise, 533 disciplinary proceedings were raised for apprehensions of border cash above 10,000 euros that did not have the mandatory declaration. The amounts intervened reached 18.45 million and the penalty, 10.73 million.

The money laundering investigations 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 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 proceedings for money laundering (36 in 2011), with 204 people prosecuted (154 people in 2011) were completed at the National Court and Provincial Hearings. At the end of the year there were 45 convictions for money laundering (20 in 2011) with 111 convicted persons (95 in 2011). The fines imposed on these sentences totaled 556 million euros (183.59 million in 2011). These figures do not include prosecutions of lesser relevance that fall within the Criminal Courts.

Longer penalties and higher fines

The extension of the reform of the Criminal 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 the year 2011, it went to 2 years minus 3 days in 2012. Also, the maximum penalty was increased: in 2011 it was less than 6 years and in 2012 it was of 7 years and 6 months. Sanctions have also been tightened: in 2011 the maximum was 46 million euros and in 2012 it reached 70 million.

The 2012 Report of the Prevention Commission also reflects data from the Financial Intelligence Center (CICO) related to police operations linked to money laundering. In this activity, 1,272 bank documents (accounts and cards mainly) were frozen, 22.96 million euros, 230,000 false 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 substances and adulterants 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, revenues in this account reached 21.88 million euros (21.21 million in 2011). In addition, the Treasury judicial appropriation 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 amounting to 3.24 million euros (1.49 million) in 2011).

The total amount of sanctions imposed administratively by the General Secretariat of the Treasury and Financial Policy, including those relating 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 non-European Union countries, the Ministry of Justice received 65 rogatory commissions related to money laundering – of which 59% were executed as of October 2013 – and made 35 rogatory commissions to other countries (at the end of October, 43% were executed).

In 2012, Sepblac handled 899 international requests for collaboration, of which 507 received and issued 392. In addition, there were 114 spontaneous referrals of information, with no 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 shares.

About the statistic

International standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing established by the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), under 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 information on the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism obtained through 25 different national units or agencies with competence in these matters.



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