Fight against organized crime: Lindner wants to strengthen customs

Status: 05/03/2023 2:46 p.m

“Even more powerful, focused and efficient”: According to Finance Minister Lindner’s plans, customs should be strengthened in the fight against organized crime. In focus: money laundering and illegally acquired wealth.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to strengthen customs in the fight against organized crime (OC) and promote the confiscation of illegally obtained assets. The FDP politician announced measures to be implemented by spring 2025. This included setting up an OC combat center at the Customs Criminal Police Office, regional OC investigation centers in the Customs Investigation Service and in the financial control of undeclared work.

“With the new strategy, customs will be even more powerful, focused and efficient,” said Lindner. “We also use the strengths of customs in financial investigations.” In addition to “sustainable criminal prosecution”, it is important “to hit the perpetrators where it hurts them the most: with illegally obtained assets”.

Investigators have taken action against the Calabrian mafia organization ‘Ndrangheta worldwide – including in Germany.

financial investigations are reinforced

A further step should be an innovation center for technical deployment and investigation support for customs. The process-integrated financial investigations in customs would also be strengthened, said Lindner. Their goal as part of a criminal investigation is to track down assets and uncover money laundering.

A special customs unit, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), is responsible for money laundering investigations that are independent of the procedure. It collects and analyzes suspicious activity reports under the Money Laundering Act. The FIU had come under criticism for problems in forwarding suspicious activity reports to law enforcement agencies. From July, she will have a new boss in Swiss Daniel Thelesklaf.

According to BR information, the Ministry of Finance has admitted another processing backlog at the FIU.

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