As of 1 August 2008, the Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (WWFT) came into force. This WWFT is an implementation of European directives and partly replaces the Identification of Services Act (WID) and the Act on the Reporting of Unusual Transactions (MOT Act). On the basis of the Wwft, a legal obligation for lawyers for the services described in the Wwft to identify the client prior to the service and to report so-called (intended) unusual transactions.
Pursuant to the Wwft, every lawyer is obliged to determine the identity of his client, in so far as this concerns advice and/or assistance within the framework of services described in the Wwft. The identification obligation therefore does not apply in all cases. In practice, however, it is often only possible to assess definitively afterwards whether the services provided are exempt, while the identification must take place before the provision of a service.
Uittenbogaart Advocatuur has opted to identify all its clients in order to avoid ambiguities. Even if the Wwft does not apply, it is a careful practice to identify clients. The manner in which identification and verification of identity must take place is not legally prescribed. Uittenbogaart Advocatuur applies the following principles, in line with the Wwft and the guidelines of the Dutch Bar Association.
The identity of natural persons is verified by means of a valid travel document or valid (Dutch) driving license. Legal persons are identified by means of an excerpt from the register of the Chamber of Commerce, independently requested by Uittenbogaart Advocatuur. In addition, the identity of the natural person representing the legal person is verified by means of a valid travel document or driving license.
Under the Wwft, every lawyer is obliged to report transactions (or intended transactions) that may be related to money laundering to FIU-the Netherlands (www.fiu-nederland.nl). In order to determine whether a (proposed) transaction is possibly related to money laundering, a number of so-called indicators have been determined by the Ministry of Finance. On the basis of these indicators, the lawyer must assess whether or not a (proposed) transaction should be reported. The Wwft prohibits the attorney who makes a report, to inform his client about this.
If you still have questions or want further consultations on the above, you can of course contact us.