From September 1 1997, under Decree 153 of May 26 1997, the procedure for informing the authorities of suspected money-laundering transactions has changed. Transactions which may infringe the provisions of Articles 648 bis and ter of the Penal Code must now be reported to the Italian Foreign Exchange Bureau (IFEB) rather than to the police. In accordance with its new administrative role, the IFEB issued a circular letter setting out the basic guidelines for anti-laundering procedures. The circular lays down the criteria by which suspect banking transactions may be identified, such as discrepancies between the character of transaction and the client's financial profile, or its acceptance of inconvenient terms and rates. After being notified of the suspect transaction, the IFEB must forward the relevant evidence to the investigating Anti-Mafia Bureau and to the Tax Police special department dealing with with foreign currency matters, which will pursue the investigation further on the basis of the information received. Should the investigation uncover a link with organized crime, the National Anti-Mafia Procurator will be informed and he will take appropriate steps. To comply with the new anti-laundering provisions, the IFEB has prepared a standard form for financial services firms. In particular, details of the transaction and the reasons for it being considered suspicious must be provided, thus putting the burden of assessing each transaction on the financial operator.
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