For the purposes of the Law of 18 September 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “Law” shall be regarded as “money laundering”:
1° the conversion or transfer of money or other property, knowing that this is derived from criminal activity or from an act of participation in such activity, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property or of assisting any person who is involved in the commission of such an activity to evade the legal consequences of his action;
2° the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement, rights with respect to, or ownership of money or property, knowing that such property is derived from criminal activity or from an act of participation in such activity;
3° the acquisition, possession or use of money or property, knowing, at the time of receipt, that these were derived from criminal activity or from an act of participation in such activity;
4° participation in, association to commit, attempts to commit and aiding, abetting, facilitating and counseling the commission of any of the actions referred to under points 1°, 2°, and 3°.”
The Law defines “criminal activity” as any kind of involvement in the commission of an offence related to:
- terrorism or terrorist financing;
- organised crime;
- illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
- illicit trafficking in goods and merchandise, and weapons, including anti-personnel mines and/or submunitions;
- smuggling in human beings;
- trafficking in human beings;
- exploitation of prostitution;
- illicit use in animals of hormonal substances or illegal trade in such substances;
- illicit trafficking in human organs or tissues;
- fraud detrimental to the financial interests of the European Union;
- serious fiscal fraud, whether organised or not;
- social fraud;
- embezzlement by public officials and corruption;
- serious environmental crime;
- counterfeiting currency or banknotes;
- counterfeiting products;
- stock market-related offence;
- an improper public offering of securities;
- the provision of banking services, financial services, insurance services or funds transfer services, or currency trading, or any other regulated activity, without having the required licence for these activities or meeting the conditions to carry out these activities;
- breach of trust;
- misappropriation of corporate assets;
- the state of bankruptcy;
- computer crime;
So the preventive Law only refers to serious criminal activities and not to other forms of laundering of money or goods. The list of criminal activities referred to in Article 4, first subparagraph, 23° of the Law is broad enough to encompass all offences that, under Belgian law, are punishable by a prison sentence of at least six months.
The Law does not refer to specific provisions of the Penal Code, however, but more generally to specific forms of criminality, by using words that are used in everyday language.
The Law explicitly confirms that it is not up to the disclosing entities to identify the predicate offence of the facts or transactions for which there are suspicions of money laundering.
Money laundering shall be regarded as such even where the activities which generated the money or property to be laundered were carried out in the territory of another Member State or in that of a third country.