In money laundering cases, Germany sees record spike — report!

The Financial Intelligence Unit of Germany reports that the suspected money laundering and terrorist financing cases in 2019 jumped by 50%. In suspicious transactions, the real estate market is especially vulnerable.  house for sale

Germany's federal anti-money laundering unit recorded 114,914 cases suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing last year, reported the Berlin Tagesspiegel Tuesday.

This is almost 50 percent higher than the previous year.

According to a copy of the 2019 Annual Report of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the bulk of these cases were flagged with German banks and other financial institutions, as well as notaries and immovable agents.

These cases were associated with a total of 355,000 suspicious transactions.

"An issue for us is that in Germany it's not traditionally well established to prosecute money laundering," FIU head Christof Schulte told Tagesspiegel.

Extreme vulnerability in the real estate market

The FIU recorded just over 77,000 cases of money laundering in its annual report last year and found a "extreme vulnerability" in the German property market when it came to questionable business deals.

In November German legislators passed a bunch of anti-money laundering measures to address the problem and bring it into line with EU directives. The legislation also imposed stricter regulations for the reporting of suspicious transactions by property agents, notarials, precious metals dealers and auction houses.

Transparency International, a group against corruption, called on Germany to implement reforms after finding that some 30 billion euros (34 billion dollars) of illicit funds had been divested into German real estate in 2017. Criminal networks, especially the Italian mafia, were said to have been able to exploit legal loopholes to launder money in Germany via properties.

According to the organisation, between 15% and 30% of all the revenues derived from crime are invested in real estate, either through construction and renovation, or through purchase, sale and rental.

The FIU, located in the western town of Cologne, is a customs authority in Germany.

In Hamm, Germany, Nuveen Real Estate acquires a new pharmaceutical distribution center.

For its European logistics network, Nuveen Real Estate has acquired a new distribution center in Hamm.

The cross-dock distribution center, which opened in 2020, is leased to a leading pharmaceutical logistics company and offers leasing space of about 9,000 square meters (97,000 square feet). It can store and ship special items, such as medications, since it has two temperature-controlled areas. As a result, the tenant uses the asset to primarily serve consumers in the pharmaceutical products market, with the aim of supplying more than 15,000 pharmacies in the coming years.

“Against the backdrop of the current pandemic, the need for storage and distribution of medicines and vaccines has led to increased demand for high-quality logistics properties,” says Christian Sliwa, Investment Manager at Nuveen Real Estate. As a result, the distribution center in Hamm is an important strategic addition to our portfolio, allowing us to assist our clients in taking advantage of these structural tailwinds. The property's unique equipment and prime location highlight its long-term potential. In addition, we have a long-term lease with a market leader, which we believe will help ensure good future returns for our investors."

The Eastern Ruhr region is one of Germany's most significant logistics hubs. It provides good conditions for logistics hubs due to its links to highways as well as the European rail network for combined freight transport. Due to its geographically advantageous position, retailers and wholesalers in particular use the area for their central and regional distribution centers.

In Germany, Nuveen's logistics AUM has surpassed EUR1 billion.

Linklaters (legal), EY (tax), Orange Recon (technical), Nova-Ambiente, and TheGreenBlue advised Nuveen (environmental). DSH GmbH acted as a middleman.

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