MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Madam President! My very esteemed colleagues! I think that colleague Seitz wore a mask beforehand that must have been very tight. Not that much oxygen seems to have come through.
(Laughter from members of the CDU / CSU and the SPD)
Ladies and gentlemen, on Tuesday of this week there was a major raid here in Berlin against organized clan crime. 1,600 officials from several federal states were on duty here against the well-known Remmo clan family. It was about clearing up the theft of art – you have all seen it in the media – in Dresden’s Green Vault. Art treasures of inestimable value – both in terms of art history and material – have been stolen there. This booty was worth many hundreds of millions of euros. The members of the same clan family were also responsible for the break-in into Berlin’s Bode Museum, where a 100-kilo gold coin was stolen. So far, there is no trace of this prey and the prey from the Green Vault.
What happens to this prey now? It is monetized and then it is laundered. That means it will be brought back into the legal economic cycle. The money is invested. Shops are bought or real estate is acquired. The criminals are having a good time with it, all with money from criminal machinations. Here, ladies and gentlemen, organized crime challenges our rule of law. For us as a Union it is therefore very important that we can respond hard, consistently and effectively. Our constitutional state must defend itself at this point, ladies and gentlemen.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
We have to be very clear: criminal acts must not be worthwhile. This very message is now becoming law. We follow the simple principle of “Follow the money”. It is the money that gives the incentive to crime. That is why we have to start with the fight against crime, especially the fight against organized clan crime. We have to meet criminals where it hurts them, and that is the money, dear colleagues.
It is precisely for this reason that we are now taking on the rules on the crime of money laundering. We’re redesigning them into a sharp sword so that it really makes law enforcement easier. How do we do that? In future – as the Minister has already pointed out – the catalog of predicate offenses will no longer apply. According to the all-crimes approach, it will be much easier in the future to provide evidence of money laundering. It doesn’t matter what predicate offense it was. Regardless of which predicate offense was capitalized on, you can make yourself liable to prosecution in the future.
And – this is very important to me – so that the law is actually a sharp sword, so that we can fight organized crime, we as a Union have prevented the frivolous money laundering, as initially provided for in the draft bill, from being canceled. I have just spoken to a chairman of a criminal chamber who said to me again: Carelessness is the central tool in practice. The vast majority of convictions in money laundering are based on frivolous money laundering. – It would have led to massive gaps in criminal liability if we could only have recourse to intentional offenses in money laundering. We say – it must stay that way in the future -: Anyone who carelessly turns a blind eye to the fact that assets come from criminal machinations will also face punishment in the future, ladies and gentlemen.
The law urgently needs to be improved on the independent confiscation of assets of unknown origin. At the moment it is so – as it is in the draft law – that it is only possible to move in independently if the predicate offense was committed as a gang or if it was carried out commercially. But that is precisely the problem with independent collection. As a rule, we do not know which predicate offense was involved. If we do not know what predicate offense it was, then we cannot say whether it was committed as a gang or professionally. In the end, if it stayed that way, we would rob the entire instrument of its effectiveness. That is why we will insist in the parliamentary procedure that this be changed. It cannot be the case in the future that this will be restricted. That would be absolutely absurd and counterproductive. That is why this has to be changed, ladies and gentlemen.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.