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.).
As a general rule, it should be noted that a simple failure to comply with AML/CTF legislation gives rise to administrative liability and not criminal liability of the individual/legal entity, unless the individual/legal entity participated in a crime either as an author, aider or abettor.
For individuals, the administrative sanctions may consist of a warning or an administrative fine between RON10,000 (EUR 2,100) and RON 150,000 (EUR 31,000).
For legal entities, the administrative sanctions may consist of a warning or an administrative fine of 10% of the total revenue declared for the previous fiscal period plus the aforementioned fine applicable to individuals. It should be noted that separate sanctions may also apply to the members of the management bodies or other individuals responsible for the breach.
In addition to the above financial sanction, entities that breach AML legislation may also be subject to one or more of the following complementary sanctions:
- confiscation of the assets resulting from the breach;
- suspension of the permit or authorisation to perform a certain activity or, as the case may be, suspension of the company’s activity for from one to six months;
- withdrawing the licence or permit for certain operations or for foreign trade activities for from one to six months;
- blocking the bank account for from ten days to one month;
- annulling the permit, approval or authorisation to perform a certain activity;
- closing the branch or another secondary headquarter;
- public statement identifying the individual or legal entity and the nature of the breach;
- issuing an order instructing the entity to cease the default;
- a temporary prohibition to exercise managerial functions in any reporting entity, issued against a person with managerial functions in the defaulting entity or any individual person that is responsible for the breach.