Memorandum on the application on the Anti-Laundering and Financing of Terroristic Activities Act (ALFTA) by La Gro Geelkerken Advocaten
On 1 August 2008 the ALFTA came into force. The ALFTA is the implementation of European directives and replaces the Identification of Services Act and the Notification of unusual transactions Act. By virtue of the ALFTA the lawyers are obliged to identify their clients prior to the start of the services and to notify the authorities in case of so called (planned) unusual transactions
Duty to identify
By virtue of the ALFTA every lawyer is obliged to confirm his client’s identity if and insofar the services pertain to advise and/or legal aid within the scope of ALFTA. The duty to identify does not apply in all circumstances. The practice has learned that commonly it cannot be assessed beforehand if the services are exempted from the law, whereas the duty to identify has to be fulfilled before work is commenced.
For the avoidance of doubt, La Gro Geelkerken Advocaten has chosen to identify all its clients in accordance with the ALFTA. Even if ALFTA is not applicable, it is business common sense to identify the clients. The way in which the identification takes place, is not stipulated by law. La Gro Geelkerken Advocaten takes the following route, in accordance with the ALFTA and the bar association’s by-laws.
The identity of people is verified by a valid travel document or a valid (Dutch) driving license. Legal entities are identified by a trade registry extract, which is collected by La Gro Geelkerken Advocaten. Also, the identity of the legal entity’s legal representative is verified by a valid travel document or valid driving license.
The lawyer is obliged to save the copy of the identity document/the extract or other items of proof for five years after the file is closed.
By virtue of the ALFTA every lawyer is obliged to notify transactions (or planned transactions) that might be connected with money laundering with FIU-Nederland (www.fiu-nederland.nl). In order to assess if a (planned) transaction might be related to money laundering, the Ministry of Finance has determined a set of indicators. Using these indicators, the lawyer has to assess if a (planned) transaction must be notified or not. The ALFTA prohibits the lawyer who notifies a transaction to FIU-Nederland, to inform his client.
This memorandum deals with the broad outlines of the ALFTA matter and therefore, is broad in scope. If you have any questions on this memorandum, please let us know.