What is CTIF-CFI's role ?

CTIF-CFI is an independent administrative authority with legal personality, in charge of processing and forwarding information in order to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, including the financing of proliferation-sensitive activities or the delivery of nuclear weapon delivery systems. CTIF-CFI, composed of legal and financial experts and a senior officer seconded from the federal police, is placed under the supervision of the Ministers of Justice and Finance and led by a magistrate or his deputy temporarily seconded from the Public Prosecutor's Office. CTIF-CFI’s Bureau, composed of the President and the Vice President, organises its activities.


Centralisation and information analysis

Without prejudice to the powers of the judicial authorities, CTIF-CFI is responsible for receiving and analysing the information reported by:

  • the obliged entities specified in the law;
  • their supervisory authorities;
  • the authorities in charge of supervising the financial markets;
  • counterpart financial intelligence units (FIUs), within the framework of mutual cooperation;
  • the authorities competent for receiving the declarations on cross-border transportation of currency, made in application of the Royal Decree of 26 January 2016 on measures for supervising cross-border transportation of currency;
  • the Public Prosecutor’s Office as part of a judicial inquiry or a preliminary inquiry on terrorist financing;
  • the European Anti-Fraud Office of the European Commission as part of an investigation of fraud affecting the financial interests of the European Economic Area;
  • officials of the administrative services of the State, the trustees in a bankruptcy and the temporary administrators who, in the course of their duties or in the course of their professional activities, discover facts that they know or suspect to be related to money laundering or terrorist financing.

CTIF-CFI may request, not only from the institutions and individuals specified by the law, but also from the President of the bar association, the police services, the administrative services of the State, the trustees in and temporary administrators of a bankruptcy and the judicial authorities, any additional information it deems useful for accomplishing its mission, within the time period it determines. An investigating judge may only forward the information with the express consent of the Principal Public Prosecutor or the Federal Public Prosecutor. The judicial authorities, the police services, the administrative services of the State, the trustees and temporary administrators of a bankruptcy may spontaneously forward any information they deem useful to fulfil CTIF-CFI’s mission. CTIF-CFI also has access to the National Register of Natural Persons.

In addition, it may carry out on-site visits to consult documents that belong to the institutions or individuals specified by the law or that are in their possession, and that are useful for accomplishing its legal assignment.

CTIF-CFI may authorise one or several of its members or one or several of its staff, responsible for assisting the financial experts, to request information from the institutions and individuals or to consult the documents on-site.

The Public Prosecutor's Office shall inform CTIF-CFI of all final decisions issued in cases where CTIF-CFI forwarded information to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

 

Freezing a transaction and forwarding the information to the Public Prosecutor’s Office

 
If the matter is serious or urgent, CTIF-CFI may, should such action be deemed necessary, freeze a transaction. CTIF-CFI determines to which transactions as well as to which bank accounts the freezing order refers.
 
This freezing order shall halt the execution for a maximum of five working days from the time of notification.

If CTIF-CFI deems that this measure must be extended, it immediately refers the matter to the competent Public Prosecutor or to the Federal Public Prosecutor, who then takes the necessary decisions.

Should the review of the information reveal a serious indication of money laundering or terrorist financing, including financing of proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or of the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, this information is forwarded to the Public Prosecutor or to the Federal Public Prosecutor.

In case of opposition against an intended transaction and when CTIF-CFI forwards information to the competent Public Prosecutor or the Federal Public Prosecutor, CTIF-CFI shall also immediately inform the Central Office for Seizure and Confiscation. This information shall also be forwarded when CTIF-CFI informs the competent Public Prosecutor or the Federal Public Prosecutor when assets of significant value, of any kind, are available for possible judicial seizure.
 

CTIF-CFI’s professional secrecy

 
The members of CTIF-CFI, its staff, the members of the police services and other officials seconded to it, as well as the external experts it calls upon, are bound to a very strict professional secrecy. Even in the case referred to in Article 29 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and with the exception where they are called upon to testify in court, they may not disclose the information collected in the discharge of their duties, with the exception of forwarding information as stipulated in the law:
  • to the competent Public Prosecutor or Federal Public Prosecutor;
  • to the supervisory authorities of the obliged entities subject to the Law;
  • to foreign counterpart FIUs;
  • to the European Anti-Fraud Office;
  • to the Ministry of Finance;
  • to the State Security Department or the General Intelligence and Security Service and Security Service of the Armed Forces;
  • to OCAM/OCAD;
  • to a Prosecutor at a labour tribunal;
  • to the Service d’Information et de Recherche Social [Social Information and Investigation Department] (SIOD);
  • EPI (the Directorate-General Prisons of the Federal Public Service Justice).
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