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AML in Focus: Italy's Remittance Regulations that Bangladeshis Must Know

AML in Focus: Italy's Remittance Regulations that Bangladeshis Must Know

18 Mar 2024


Several Bangladeshis are working in Italy to earn a living. They send money online to Bangladesh from Italy, through various means because this is precisely what they go there for.

A Springer Link report stated that upwards of 2 million Bangladeshis work abroad. Of these, about 200,000 are living and working in Italy.   

But have you ever thought about how your transferring of money can either support money laundering or help governments with their anti-money laundering policies?

Bangladeshis in Italy need to know all about the anti-money laundering policies of the Italian government, lest, in ignorance, they become complicit in money laundering.

Understanding Money Laundering  

A perfect medical prescription is only possible with the proper diagnosis. Likewise, you cannot understand anti-money laundering (AML) without first understanding money laundering.

Money laundering is the process of transferring large amounts of money from one place to another. The purpose of such transactions is to finance criminal activities such as drug trafficking or funding terrorism.  

Since the money generated through criminal activities is considered dirty, it is laundered to appear clean.

Money laundering usually takes place when funds are transferred across borders.

Chances of money laundering increase manifold if you use unregulated and illegal means such as Hundi and Hawala to transfer funds, even if you do not intend to do so.

What is Anti-Money Laundering (AML)?

Any policy, law or regulation meant to curb money laundering in all its manifestations forms an anti-money laundering (AML) framework. AML policies and regulations worldwide are supposed to prevent financial crimes and criminal activities.

Simply put, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) is the set of laws, regulations, procedures, and law enforcement that aim to prevent illegally obtained money from entering a country’s financial system.

Remember that these policies are largely unique to every country. In Italy, the AML policies are a good deal different from those of the rest of the countries. So, as a Bangladeshi migrant in Italy, the next time you plan a money transfer from Italy to Bangladesh, make sure to know the following.

Italy’s Anti-Money Laundering Policies in Focus

A strong economy, such as Italy’s, can immensely appeal to criminals. Italy also had to endure this; ironically, the threat of money laundering in Italy is ongoing. In a 2023 Europol investigation, Italian authorities found criminal gangs indulging in trade-based money laundering across Europe. The amount they traced back to Italy alone was €18.5 million.

After some time, however, the Italian authorities unearthed a money laundering network operating in China and Italy and seized €292 million accumulated illegally.

Eventually, the Italian government implemented strict Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) policies aligned with the EU and global AML obligations.

Therefore, as a Bangladeshi migrant working in Italy, you need to understand the country’s AML policies since money laundering can take place in online money transfers. This means that if you fail to find the best way to send money back home from overseas, you are likely to step into the legally dangerous and complicated terrain.

The Bank of Italy – Italy’s AML Policy Regulator

AML policies in Italy are created, regulated, and supervised by the Bank of Italy. All other banks, asset management companies, trusts, intermediaries and financial institutions operate under the guidelines provided by the Bank of Italy.

The Bank of Italy is based in Rome and is responsible for ensuring monetary as well as financial stability.

The Core Responsibilities of the Bank of Italy to Ensure AML Implementation

Although the Bank of Italy is mandated to ensure that money laundering does not take place, at least not after the 2023 Europol investigation, the institution also has other functions to perform.

Take a closer look at these functions as a Bangladeshi migrant in Italy to be on the safe side.

  • Developing and preparing AML and CFT policies in close coordination with the Italian government and parliament
  • Analyzing and assessing the AML and CFT compliance by other banks and financial institutions
  • Implementing penalties and sanctions on entities violating AML regulations
  • Conducting periodic AML risks across the entire Italian financial landscape
  • Disseminating information and documentation about AML regulation
  • Liaising with international AML regulatory bodies to ensure cross-border AML supervision

It is highly recommended that you choose a financial institution properly regulated by the Bank of Italy when you plan to make an online money transfer from Italy to Bangladesh. It will ensure that the financial institution whose service you avail of to transfer funds is properly regulated. It will marginalize the chances to indulge in money laundering, even unknowingly.

Let’s now look at how you can ensure strict and seamless adherence to Italy’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies.

How to Ensure Seamless Compliance with Italy’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations as a Bangladeshi Migrant?

No matter how much care you exercise while choosing a service provider to transfer funds across borders, you still need to take the following steps. You are responsible for following the steps explained below and asking your service provider to ensure the same.

Customer Due Diligence (CDD)

When you go to any financial institution to seek their financial services, they must verify the identities of their customers to perform correct risk assessments. For this, the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) can involve the submission of names, addresses, biometric identities, and other essential information.

If your service provider fails to do any of these, it should alert you!

Beneficial Ownership Checks

In Italy, every firm has to ensure that they run beneficial customer checks on their customers' identities to prevent criminals from hiding their true identities. It is essential for you as well as the financial institutions.

Share your details with the firms until the last bit, and do not lie. This will keep you safe.

Otherwise, the consequences can be grave.

Strict Screening of Transactions

Every firm you go to in Italy has to ensure that they properly and thoroughly screen every transaction of every customer without discrimination. This brings to light unusual transaction patterns and helps them identify if the transactions are done with high-risk counterparties.

If your service provider needs to catch up, you must look for alternatives.

Watchlist Screening and Sanctions

Financial institutions in Italy must ensure screening to see if their customers are on watchlists, such as Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). In addition, firms must screen international sanction lists like the EU Consolidated List to ensure they do not violate international law.

Staying Safe with ACE Money Transfer and Ensuring Compliance with Italian AML Policies

Since you are working in Italy to earn a living and send money to Bangladesh from Italy, you need to be aware of all the AML policies in Italy explained above.

The firm not only ensures seamless compliance with Italian AML regulations as it operates under the supervision of the Bank of Italy but also offers you several financial benefits. This includes live, market-competitive currency exchange rates and low fees. It comes with speed, safety, a wider service network and 24/7 availability in over 100 countries worldwide from just one stop!

FAQs

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is a serious financial crime. White-collar and street-level criminals indulge in it. It is the process of making large amounts of money through illegal activities and crimes such as terrorist funding, drug trafficking, and so on.

What is Anti-Money Laundering (AML)?

Anti-money laundering (AML) is a set of laws, regulations, and policies that are put in place to curb criminal financial activity in a country. These policies are meant to ensure that the money generated through criminal activities does not find its way into a country's legal and regulated financial landscape.

Why is knowing about these is important for me as a Bangladeshi migrant in Italy?

Knowing about both money laundering and anti-money laundering is essential for you because money laundering normally occurs when money is transferred from one country to another. You can also send money to Bangladesh from Italy. Right? So, if you are unaware of this, you may soon find yourself standing in the lap of an unscrupulous financial institution!

What are the core responsibilities of the Bank of Italy in AML?

The core responsibilities of the Bank of Italy in implementing AML are to develop AML regulations aligned with government policies. They need to assess and analyze the adherence of other financial institutions and implement penalties and sanctions on those found violating these policies. Lastly, they are expected to inform the public about AML policies and so on.

How can I ensure seamless compliance with Italian AML policies as a Bangladeshi migrant?

You can ensure seamless compliance with the Italian AML policies by ensuring that your service providers or financial institutions carry out customer due diligence. You need to run beneficial ownership checks on their customers, thoroughly screen transactions, and also screen sanctions and watchlists.


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