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Law No. 1.521 of February 11, 2022 on various criminal measures to combat money laundering and fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash payment instruments

Law No. 1,521 of February 11, 2022 establishes the foundations and prepares the ground for the implementation of the laws of December 9, 2022. It comes in the context of strengthening European law.

The legislation brings about advancements both in terms of punitive measures (A) and procedural aspects (B).

A. Criminal Component

The following modifications have been made to the Penal Code :

 – Amendment to Article 12 of the Penal Code, shifting the burden of proof : it is now the responsibility of the defendant, prosecuted for an offense carrying a minimum prison sentence of 3 years, to justify the origin of the asset.

 – Addition of Paragraph 3 to Article 12 of the Penal Code : the known third party must be given an opportunity to make their observations after the confiscation judgment.

 – Amendment to Articles 218-1 and 218-2 of the Penal Code : certainty regarding the origin of the asset is no longer required, as it is now sufficient to have suspected it or not to have been able to ignore it.

 – Amendment to Article 218-1-1 of the Penal Code concerning legal entities, which can now be prosecuted for failure to control or supervise their employees.

 – Amendment to Article 218 of the Penal Code, intensifying the penalty for the professions mentioned in Articles 1 and 2 of Law No. 1,362 of August 3, 2009: in cases of aggravating circumstances, the potential sentence will range from 10 to 20 years of imprisonment, accompanied by the fine provided for in Paragraph 4 of Article 26, which can be multiplied by twenty.

 – Amendment to Article 218-1 of the Penal Code : the following offenses can be prosecuted in Monaco even if they were committed abroad:

   o Extortion racketeering

   o Participation in an organized criminal group

   o Terrorism

   o Human trafficking

   o Drug offenses

   o Corruption

B. Criminal Procedure Component

The following elements have been modified in the Code of Criminal Procedure :

 – Amendment to Article 8-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which concerns accomplices in money laundering: the Monaco courts can prosecute any accomplice to an act considered as money laundering or an offense related to non-cash payment instruments, without the need for dual reciprocity in terms of complicity in this offense, or for the principal act to have been established by a final decision.

 – Addition of Article 116-11-1 to the Code of Criminal Procedure, establishing a procedure for monitoring banking operations: in certain cases, the investigating judge, after consulting the prosecutor general, can order a bank to monitor, for a specified period, transactions carried out in one or more identified accounts, and to regularly provide information on these operations. This measure can be renewed under the same formal and time conditions.

 – Amendment to Articles 106-12 and 106-17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to include the use of audio and video recording devices in investigations related to money laundering and offenses involving payment instruments, even if these offenses were not committed by an organized group.

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