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Money laundering reports up by 17 percent

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Money laundering reports up by 17 percent
Photo: DPA
07:07 CET+01:00
One area of finance which seems to be posting huge growth in Germany despite the economic crisis is money laundering, reports of which increased by around 17 percent during 2011, new figures show.

The Financial Intelligence Unit recorded more than 12,800 reports of significant suspicion last year, around 17 percent more than the previous year.

Jörg Ziercke, president of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA), where the FIU is situated, said last year was the worst since money laundering laws were introduced in 1993.

The potential increase of money laundering through the slot machine ‘casinos' which can be seen on many high streets throughout the country was a particular concern, as was the possible shuffling of illegal money through real estate purchases.

Banks and credit institutes were responsible for 91 percent of the reports of suspicious financial activity, the FIU's annual report published on Monday showed.

Yet Gabriele Hahn, executive director of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, said the increase in reports was a good sign, but that the law could only function if adherence was strictly policed.

Ziercke said that just because the number of reports had increased significantly, it did not mean that the amount of money being laundered had changed. He said in only around 44 percent of the cases reported had crimes been committed – while the total number of people named had remained constant at around 22,000.

Ziercke said the BKA was going to focus more intensely on possible money laundering in slot machine halls and casinos.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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