OECD urges Austria to implement tougher laws on money laundering, corruption

2013-01-08 18:45:27 GMT2013-01-09 02:45:27(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

VIENNA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Tuesday urged Austria to implement additional measures to fight cross-border corruption and money laundering.

In a report, OECD experts called for a tightening of corporate criminal law and closer monitoring of gambling groups, and leveled criticism at the Austrian Banker's Association.

The experts said the association, to which almost all Austrian domestic banks belong, routinely objected to court orders, providing a "serious obstacle" to law enforcement.

The OECD experts also urged the gambling industry, in which 70 percent of bets are made by foreigners, to implement tougher rules, and said the Finance Ministry was not checking whether individuals under suspicion of corruption were involved in subsidiaries of Austrian gambling companies.

In addition, the OECD urged Austria to take special measures to ensure investigations in international corruption were not sacrificed in order to maintain the "national economic interest."

A spokesperson for Federal Justice Minister Beatrix Karl said the minister planned to hold talks with anti-corruption watchdog and banking industry representatives on issues raised by the OECD report, such as access to bank account information.

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