Joras Ferwerda informs Parliament about Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Joras Ferwerda in Tweede Kamer

Joras Ferwerda (Utrecht University School of Economics) and Jacco Wielhouwer (VU) informed Dutch Members of Parliament about proposed legislation to improve the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the Netherlands.

On January 26, Ferwerda and Wielhouwer shared their expertise in this field, and also presented a so-called Scientific Test, a relatively new initiative to improve and intensify scientific insights on proposed legislation.

Their main observations are that the bill:

  • Could potentially make a significant improvement in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing
  • However, the substantiation of that contribution to this is limited
  • The evaluation proposals of the law's effects are still insufficient
  • The social burden (costs) is limited
  • The effects on privacy are well-considered
A clear purpose and plan for evaluation are lacking

They are critical of the wording of the law's purpose, which is too unclear. It also lacks a clear plan for evaluation.

The researchers therefore make recommendations to improve this, for instance linking the records of investigation and judiciary to transaction reports, making clear which reports actually helped in a conviction of money laundering or drug trafficking. This would enable better monitoring and learning processes.

Joras Ferwerda is assistant professor at the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) and has been investigating (fighting) money laundering for more than twenty years. He is a certified money laundering expert for the Dutch National Police. He advises the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security regarding money laundering policies. He did the first study on the amounts and effects of money laundering in the Netherlands for the Dutch Ministry of Finance. At this moment he is also consulting the Ethical Commission TMNL (on transaction monitoring).

Read more about the scientific test on the website of the House of Parliament (in Dutch):
The full debate with the Dutch Members of Parliament can be found here (in Dutch):