Money laundering and terrorist financing are criminalised under the Czech Criminal Code as standalone crimes. The legalisation of the proceeds of crime is subject to imprisonment up to ten years. Terrorist financing is subject to imprisonment up to 15 years. Further sanctions, such as forfeiture of property etc., can be imposed.
Czech law recognises corporate criminal liability, therefore companies may also be criminally liable for money laundering and terrorist financing. There is a wide range of sanctions which can be imposed on legal entities, e.g. dissolution of the company, forfeiture of property, monetary penalty, and publishing the judgment.
The AML Act provides a range of sanctions for non-compliance with the key obligations and sets out individual fines and penalties depending on the type of infringement, the type of infringer (an individual or entity or type of entity, banks, insurers, etc.).
Legal entities and obliged institutions may be subject to both criminal and regulatory liability while their representatives may be individually subject to criminal liability.
Pursuant to the Polish Criminal Code, any individual person who receives, possesses, uses, conveys or transports abroad, conceals, transfers or converts legal tenders, financial instruments, securities, foreign exchange, property rights or other movable or immovable property, which are connected to criminal offence, is liable to imprisonment of between six months to ten years. This sanction also applies to an employee or anyone acting in the name of or for the benefit of a bank, financial or credit institution, or another entity legally obliged to register transactions who receives legal tenders, financial instruments, securities, foreign exchange, transfers or converts them, or receives them in circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that they have been the object of money laundering.
A representative acting in the name of an obliged institution who fails to comply with the obligation of reporting to the GIFI or who provides the GIFI with false data or fails to disclose true data concerning transactions, accounts or persons, may be subject to imprisonment for from three months to five years. The same penalty applies to unauthorised disclosing or using information gathered in accordance with the Polish AML Act. Additionally, whoever prevents or inhibits the performance of inspection or controlling the institutions may be subject to a fine.
Representatives of legal entities may also potentially face criminal liability based on AML-specific provisions for inflicting substantial material damage (more than PLN 200,000) by abusing granted authority or failing to fulfil duties, subject to imprisonment between three months and five years. For example, this may apply if the representative fails to comply with AML/CTF regulations and then the authorities freeze funds, which cause damage to the entity.
The quasi-criminal liability of legal entities is regulated by the act of criminal liability of collective entities for punishable offences. The collective entity may be responsible, provided other prerequisites are met, for offences related to economic activity, penal and fiscal offences, public corruption and corruption of business, including crimes of money laundering. The act provides a range of sanctions such as a monetary penalty ranging from PLN 1,000 to PLN 5,000,000 (which however cannot exceed 3% of the revenue earned in the business year in which the offence was committed), or the forfeiture of proceeds of the crime.
An obliged institution that fails to fulfil its obligations under the Polish AML Act may be subject to an administrative penalty, which may take various forms, including the publication of information about the breach in the public information bulletin, an order to stop undertaking certain activities, the withdrawal of a licence or permit, deletion from a regulated activity register, a prohibition on performing duties in a managerial position by a person responsible for the breach, or a financial penalty. The financial penalty may be imposed up to twice the amount of the benefit achieved or the loss avoided by the obliged institution as a result of a breach or where it is impossible to determine this amount, up to EUR 1m. For financial institutions the limits are higher, and the penalty is up to EUR 5m or 10% of the turnover reported in the preceding financial statement.