Seven Dutch notary firms have apparently broken anti money-laundering rules but client secrecy laws makes it impossible to name them, the Financieele Dagblad reports today.
The firms are suspected of receiving cash payments of over €15,000 or of facilitating the speedy change of ownership of property – a well-known method of laundering cash.
In one case, a two-year-old child was named as the temporary owner of property. In another, a notary was paid three times €200,000 in cash.
Investigators from the notary sector’s watchdog BFT turned up a total 192 suspicious cases in 2004 and 2005, the paper says. A similar number were found in 2006 and 2007, it adds.
The names of the companies involved and the size of the suspected fraud is being kept secret under notary confidentiality laws.
The BFT, which is charged with making sure notaries and lawyers keep within the law, is asking for the legislation on this issue to be changed.
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