Countries should criminalise money laundering on the basis of the Vienna Convention and the Palermo Convention. Countries should apply the crime of money laundering to all serious offences, with a view to including the widest range of predicate offences.
INTERPRETIVE NOTE TO RECOMMENDATION 3 (MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCE)
1. Countries should criminalise money laundering on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 (the Vienna Convention) and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000 (the Palermo Convention).
2. Countries should apply the crime of money laundering to all serious offences, with a view to including the widest range of predicate offences. Predicate offences may be described by reference to all offences; or to a threshold linked either to a category of serious offences; or to the penalty of imprisonment applicable to the predicate offence (threshold approach); or to a list of predicate offences; or a combination of these approaches.
3. Where countries apply a threshold approach, predicate offences should, at a minimum, comprise all offences that fall within the category of serious offences under their national law, or should include offences that are punishable by a maximum penalty of more than one year’s imprisonment, or, for those countries that have a minimum threshold for offences in their legal system, predicate offences should comprise all offences that are punished by a minimum penalty of more than six months imprisonment.
4. Whichever approach is adopted, each country should, at a minimum, include a range of offences within each of the designated categories of offences. The offence of money laundering should extend to any type of property, regardless of its value, that directly or indirectly represents the proceeds of crime. When proving that property is the proceeds of crime, it should not be necessary that a person be convicted of a predicate offence.
5. Predicate offences for money laundering should extend to conduct that occurred in another country, which constitutes an offence in that country, and which would have constituted a predicate offence had it occurred domestically. Countries may provide that the only prerequisite is that the conduct would have constituted a predicate offence, had it occurred domestically.
6. Countries may provide that the offence of money laundering does not apply to persons who committed the predicate offence, where this is required by fundamental principles of their domestic law.
7. Countries should ensure that:
(a) The intent and knowledge required to prove the offence of money laundering may be inferred from objective factual circumstances.
(b) Effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal sanctions should apply to natural persons convicted of money laundering.
(c) Criminal liability and sanctions, and, where that is not possible (due to fundamental principles of domestic law), civil or administrative liability and sanctions, should apply to legal persons. This should not preclude parallel criminal, civil or administrative proceedings with respect to legal persons in countries in which more than one form of liability is available. Such measures should be without prejudice to the criminal liability of natural persons. All sanctions should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
(d) There should be appropriate ancillary offences to the offence of money laundering, including participation in, association with or conspiracy to commit, attempt, aiding and abetting, facilitating, and counselling the commission, unless this is not permitted by fundamental principles of domestic law.