Saudi Arabia passes first anti-money laundering legislation
Saudi Arabia passed its first anti-money laundering law on August 18, 2003. The 29-article law makes terrorist financing a punishable offense with jail terms up to 15 years and fines of $1.86 million for those individuals who launder money through charitable organizations, stated a press release.
The law stipulates that banks and financial institutions maintain records of transactions for a minimum period of ten years, as compared to the European Union, which requires banks to retain records of financial transactions for a minimum of five years.
The legislation also compels Saudi financial institutions to formulate intelligence units dedicated to foiling money-laundering schemes. These units will be capable of receiving and analyzing money-laundering claims, preparing reports on suspicious transactions, and recommending the seizure of money for a provisional period of no more than 20 days.
Finally, the anti-money laundering law calls for information exchange as well as judicial action with nations with whom the Kingdom maintains official agreements. The law will take effect October 17, 2003. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)