Members of the European Parliament on Thursday approved new measures to combat terror funding and money laundering, endorsing rules aimed at restricting dirty cash flows and introducing a sanctions regime for criminals.

The new rules introduce EU-wide penalties, such as a minimum of four years imprisonment for money laundering.

Those convicted of the crime will be barred from running for public office, and excluded from accessing public funding.

Meanwhile, the rules targeting illicit cash flows extend the definition of cash to include gold and anonymous prepaid electronic cash cards.

The measures will also enable authorities to register information about cash movements below the current €10,000 threshold, and to temporarily seize cash if they suspect criminal activity.

There is also a disclosure requirement regarding the disclosure of unaccompanied cash sent by cargo or post.

Rapporteur Mady Delvaux said: “Cash is difficult to trace and easy to transfer, therefore criminals frequently use it. With this regulation, we are strengthening the tools to combat money laundering and terrorist financing through better and faster exchange of information between authorities, as well as by adopting a more complete definition of cash.”

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