The government and banks in the Netherlands are turning their attention to the second-hand lease car market in their fight against money laundering.
They are working towards making it more difficult for car dealers to deposit large amounts of cash by sharing more information between banks with the aim of quickly identifying anything suspicious, local media reported.
The regular car trade has been largely cash-free for years and it is now time the second-hand car market follows suit, the authorities believe.
International drug gangs are said to buy up second-hand lease cars en masse and resell them abroad to launder their illicit earnings.
The second-hand lease car business brings an enormous flow of cash into the Netherlands, with more than a €1bn ($1.18bn) in cash being deposited at banks in the past four years, according to research by the country’s Financial Expertise Center, a partnership of supervisors and public authorities involved in supervision, control, detection and prosecution in the financial sector.
“The information about deposits is now shared between banks, and if necessary, reported as unusual transaction to the money laundering police,” Tamara Pollard of the centre said.