The Money Laundering Report Office Switzerland (Meldestelle für Geldwäscherei – in short: “MROS”) is the link between financial intermediaries and the law enforcement agencies. The MROS is run by the Federal Office of Police (Bundesamt für Polizei – “fedpol”) (Art. 23 GwG).
In simple terms, the MROS exercises a filtering or relief function vis-à-vis law enforcement agencies by assessing incoming reports and deciding whether the respective reports are to be forwarded to the responsible law enforcement agency. The decision to forward (or not to forward) a report is taken autonomously, and cannot be contested. In other respects, the MROS does not have any statutory supervisory function.
Ordinance concerning the Money Laundering Report Office (Verordnung über die Meldestelle für Geldwäscherei – “MGwV”)
The Ordinance concerning the Money Laundering Report Office of 25 August 2004 details the responsibilities of the MROS and the handling of reported suspicions.
Pursuant to the aforementioned MGwV, the MROS assumes the following tasks:
- helping the law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering, organised crime and terrorism finance;
- acting as the national report office for the aforementioned offences;
- ensuring that financial intermediaries have a better awareness of the problems of money laundering, organised crime and terrorism finance;
- drawing up and publishing anonymised statistical annual reports on the efforts made to combat money laundering, organised crime and terrorism finance in Switzerland.
In order to enable it to fulfil the responsibilities set out in the Ordinance, the MROS has been given the following powers (Art. 1 Para. 2 MGwV):
- Receiving and evaluating reports and complaints issued by financial intermediaries, self-regulating organisations, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Swiss Casino Commission;
- Conducting investigations into the reported incidents;
- Deciding whether to forward reports, complaints, communications and other information to the federal and cantonal law enforcement agencies;
- Exchanging information at the national and international level in respect of money laundering, organised crime and terrorism finance;
- Operating an in-house data processing system to combat money laundering, organised crime and terrorism finance (GEWA);
- Evaluating the data and drawing up anonymised statistics.
Further information about the MROS
Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland | fedpol.admin.ch