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EU targets 'mafia-style' crime

June 11, 2013 at 9:53 AM

BRUSSELS, June 11 (UPI) -- European member states need to coordinate their law enforcement policies targeting organized crime, members of the European Parliament said Tuesday.

Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution calling for a common definition of organized crime. The resolution passed by a show of hands.

The resolution proposes a ban of five years from public tenders or political office for anyone convicted of corruption or participation in "a mafia-style organization."

The European Union estimates criminal corruption costs the regional economy about 1 percent of gross domestic product each year.

"Stepping up cross-border judicial and police cooperation, across the EU and with third countries is vital to protect the EU's financial interests against organized crime, corruption and money laundering," a statement by the European Parliament said Tuesday.

Advocacy group Global Witness called on members of the Group of Eight to address money laundering when they meet next week for a summit in Northern Ireland.

"Grand corruption would not be possible without the help of the global financial system -- in particular, banks that accept corrupt assets and secrecy rules that allow money launderers to disguise their activity," the group said in a Monday letter to G8 leaders.

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