2021-2022 annual report

Financial intelligence unit: 53,259 suspicious transaction reports

Suspicions of money laundering continue to dominate the work of Luxembourg’s financial intelligence unit (CRF). Photo: Shutterstock

Suspicions of money laundering continue to dominate the work of Luxembourg’s financial intelligence unit (CRF). Photo: Shutterstock

On Thursday 27 July, the financial intelligence unit (CRF) published a double annual report (2021 and 2022), which shows an increase in suspicious transaction reports to 53,259, 99% of which are related to money laundering. This is still below the level reached in 2018.

White-collar criminals beware: not only is Luxembourg’s financial intelligence unit (CRF, or Cellule de renseignement financier) continuing to digitalise with the latest version of goAML, its software for managing suspicious transaction reports, but its workforce is set to increase by 25% to 50 by the end of the year.

Given the 53,259 declarations reported in 2022--up from 50,197 in 2021 but still below the 55,948 declarations in 2018--this is no luxury. The CRF also sent 2,146 requests for information in 2022 (compared to 2,417 in 2021 in the wake of OpenLux), and cooperates with institutions in Luxembourg and abroad. The unit handled 28,339 requests with European financial intelligence units, mainly in Germany (8,827), France (4,987) and Italy (3,100).

According to the statistics, which suffer from a slight bias since a seizure may be decided for one reason rather than another, even when the two are linked or difficult to assess, €180m was provisionally seized in 93 blockades, including €107m for suspected money laundering.

In  the category of ‘service providers,’ which includes accountants, tax and economic advisers, company and trust service providers, lawyers, notaries, bailiffs, chartered accountants and company auditors, the number of registered professionals reached a record 1,578, of which only 174 made at least one declaration. It’s a stable figure.

Chartered accountants are the most active, ahead of notaries and lawyers. The same spectacular increase in the number of registrants can be seen among property professionals, who now number 466 (compared with 297 last year), including 63 developers.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.