Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wwft)
The Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act or Wwft (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme) is aimed at contesting criminal money laundering and terrorist financing. This also includes forms of fraud (such as insolvency fraud and fiscal offenses) and corruption (such as bribes).
For specific types of services, the Wwft obliges financial service providers, including attorneys-at-law, to conduct an investigation prior to providing their services. This investigation consists of (i) a client screening at the start of the business relationship, (ii) monitoring the business relationship with the client, (iii) investigating the origin of funds used in a transaction, (iv) reporting unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit Netherlands and, in extreme cases, (v) termination of services if the investigation cannot be completed.
The Wwft applies to our services consisting of advice or assistance regarding:
- purchase or sale of properties with registered title (registergoederen) and works of art;
- management of money, securities, coins, notes, precious metals, precious stones or other valuables;
- establishment or management of companies, legal entities or similar entities;
- buying or selling shares in, or buying, selling or acquiring, in whole or in part, companies, legal entities or similar entities;
- tax-related services which are similar to the services of a tax advisor;
- establishment of a right of mortgage; and
- acting in the name and on behalf of a client in a financial or real estate transaction.
The Wwft does not apply to our services consisting of:
- determining the legal position of a client;
- representation and defense in court;
- advice before, during and after legal proceedings; and
- advice on instituting or avoiding legal proceedings.
In all cases, Bergh Stoop & Sanders determines if its services are covered by the obligations of the Wwft and how these are to be followed.