Money laundering


Money laundering is the processing of criminal proceeds (cash and assets obtained from criminal activities) to disguise their illegal origin.

This page explains the laws against money laundering.

Ireland is also required to follow some of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organisation against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Ireland is also obliged to implement certain recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) the international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing body.

What is the law of money laundering?

If you know or believe that property is from the proceeds of crime, it is illegal to:

  • Hide the true nature, source, location, movement or ownership of the property
  • Obtain, handle, keep or use it
  • Transfer or convert it
  • Move the property in or out of the country


A conviction on charges of money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Who is required by law to guard against money laundering?

Designated persons must guard against their business being used for money laundering or terrorist financing.

A designated person includes anyone who works in Ireland as:

  • An auditor, external accountant, tax adviser or any person who professionally provides assistance or advice on tax matters
  • An independent legal professional who assists in certain types of transactions
  • A trust or company service provider
  • A property service provider, where the monthly rent handled exceeds €10,000
  • A casino
  • A credit or a financial institution, unless specifically excepted
  • A provider of gambling services, including bookmakers and online gambling companies
  • A director of a private members club where there is gambling
  • A service provider for virtual assets
  • A trader of goods (or works of art) who gets cash payments over €10,000, whether in one transaction or in a series of linked transactions

The 2010 Act also establishes a number of competent authorities who monitor designated persons and ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act.

What do designated persons have to do?

Designated persons must:

  • Carry out risk assessments in respect to their business
  • Apply customer due diligence (for example, identify customers or beneficial owners)
  • Report suspicious transactions to An Garda Síochána (the Financial Intelligence Unit) and the Revenue Commissioners
  • Have specific procedures in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing

Customer due diligence obligations are designed to make it more difficult for businesses to be used by for criminal money laundering or terrorist financing.

The legislation on money laundering requires that if you open a bank account you will need to provide proof of your identity. You may also be asked other questions, for example, about the origin of funds and the nature of your business.

More information

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Unit

Department of Justice

51 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 602 8400

Tel: (01) 602 8400
Page edited: 1 May 2024