The Dutch banking association on Wednesday began a campaign to warn people about the risks of being a ‘money mule’ – lending their own bank account to criminals who use them to launder money.
While the use of money mules is growing in the UK and US, it is still a relatively new phenomenon on Dutch soil, the NVB says in Wednesday’s NRC. ‘But it is important we warn people of the dangers,’ said NVB chairman Boele Staal. ‘People used to be approached at night-clubs, now its via internet.’
The campaign comes one day after the government’s audit office said some €18.5bn is being laundered in the Netherlands every year, and that the chance of being caught is extremely low.
The number of money-laundering cases which ended up in court between 2005 and 2006 totaled 767, double the year-earlier period. Nevertheless, these account for only a fraction of the 34,500 money transactions reported as suspicious.
In addition, between 2002 and 2007 just 85 cases concerning possible funding of terrorism were reported, and the amounts concerned were so low that they barely registered, the auditors’ report said.
The auditors called on the government to make cracking down on money laundering a priority. In particular the public prosecution department needs more capacity and financial expertise, the Financieele Dagblad reported.
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