Relationship between money laundering and the protection of data in Spain

The protection of data affects all the processes of business that involve the handling of personal data. From the selection of a candidate to meet the needs of a job position, to handling the data of particular clients, or even the security of installations, this legislation affects everything.

However, some norms exist that partly modify the general regime on the protection of data, establishing particular obligations for specific sectors. A clear example is the prevention of money laundering.

The legislation on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism obligates affected subjects to notify the Executive Service of the Commission on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offences (SEPBLAC), the organ in Spain that watches and controls the related risks with money laundering and the financing of terrorism, of any operation showing signs constituting these acts. Hence, it is important to know what the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism is, what purpose it has, what its relation is to the protection of personal data information, who is obligated to comply with the legislation and ultimately, what rules and necessary procedures must be met.

Money laundering is the money that proceeds from illegal or criminal activities such as terrorism, drug trafficking or trafficking contraband. Another issue is the so-called dirty money that has not been declared to the Spanish Tax Agency and can be assumed, from certain quantities, to be a clear indication of the existence of a tax offence.

Meanwhile, the financing of terrorism is considered the supply, storage, distribution or collection of money or property, by any means, directly or indirectly, to use them or know that they will be used, in full or in part, to commit any of the crimes of terrorism under the Spanish Criminal Code and even if the provision or collection of funds or property were carried out in the territory of another State.

Concerning its purpose, the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism attempts to prevent and impede the utilization of the financial system and other sectors of economic activity in laundering generated capital for any type of participation in the commission of a crime.

Cristina Sandoval & Jesús Sánchez

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Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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