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Why Concealed Assets (CA)?

The guiding principle for concealed assets is that nobody should be able to commit a criminal act (money laundering) without being punished, or enjoy wealth obtained by criminal means undisturbed. With regard to the assets of foreigners in the Netherlands a further principle applies: the Netherlands must not be a safe haven for the concealed assets of foreigners.

Investigation and prosecution in recent years has focused increasingly on financial and economic crimes such as money laundering and corruption, with a greater emphasis on taking away criminal profits. Concealed assets has also been a popular theme among supervisors such as the Dutch Tax Authority, which has tightened up the control of persons with undeclared savings and phased out the voluntary disclosure scheme. Concealed assets has been a frequent topic of news in recent times (following revelations from the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers for example). Concealed assets and particularly assets held abroad have also been an explicit matter of concern for the government.[1]

In 2019 people deliberately continued te be non compliant regarding their concealed assets, despite social pressure created by media attention and the attention of supervisors. Generally speaking financial and economic crime is driven by money and a greater emphasis on taking away the proceeds of crime has increased the pressure on criminals to keep their illegal assets concealed from the authorities. Concealed Assets will therefore encompass a group of criminals with illegal funds, who do not wish to be or become compliant for that reason. In view of these arguments criminal law as the last resort is highly appropriate.

[1] Coalition Agreement 2017-2021 ‘Vertrouwen in de toekomst’ between political parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie. Dated 10 October 2017

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