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Government plans to get tough in anti-money-laundering war
August 3, 2015, 9:16 am

 In the face of Kuwait complying with every agreement signed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on the fight against money-laundering and funding of terrorism, and despite Kuwait’s recent exit from the regular follow-up process by FATF to biennial update, a ministerial source affirmed that government’s scheme to monitor money that enters and exits Kuwait continues, reports Al-Nahar daily.

In a statement, the source disclosed government’s intention to expand its basic concept of fighting money-laundering and financing of terrorism by executing criminal, civil, and administrative measures against the culprits.

The source noted the expansion will involve legal review of all laws related to the crimes, where necessary amendments will be made to include even returns made through money laundering, and which will involve freezing, confiscation and blocking of any transaction or transfer or sale of suspicious possessions.

He reaffirmed that government will levy tough penalties against financial institutions that fail to abide by the necessary condition of registering the identity of the client and that of the beneficiary. It will also deal with those that fail to scrutinize financial operations or report to concerned authorities any suspicions of money-laundering or funding of terrorism.

The source indicated that tough penalties will also be levied on the financial institutions that open accounts or create financial relations or even finalize transactions without complying with the rules and regulations set for such purposes, and the penalty could even involve the closure of such facilities after which the files will be referred to the courts.

The source added the new procedures will involve seeking ways to monitor online buying and selling, because some business operations of this kind constitute the crime of money laundering and terrorism funding, and discussions will be held with the banks to regulate the use of credit cards in some unaccredited websites.

“The financial institutions will be obligated to keep necessary records of local and international transactions in an attempt to keep them ready for concerned security and legal agencies if the need arises to provide evidences on criminal financial operations”, the source mentioned.

Also, the new procedure will apply to non-financial institutions such as legal firms, precious stone dealers, and real-estate agents, indicating the new laws will mandate these firms to report any suspicious financial operations, and will be subjected to active monitoring system of money laundering and terrorism funding operations.

Source: Arab Times

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