Bahrain's emir decreed a law Monday, January 29, against money laundering, a major problem in the oil-rich Gulf Arab monarchies, the official news agency GNA said.
Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa decreed that "any person found guilty of money laundering or complicity in money laundering will be subject to a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a fine not going over one million dinars ($2.6 million)," the agency said.
Any person "who gets involved in a money-laundering operation as part of an organized group or who uses his or her influence to launder money will be subject to a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a minimum fine of 100,000 dinars ($265,500)."
The Gulf monarchies are particularly vulnerable to money laundering because they host large foreign communities, making the movement of capital hard to control.
Qatar announced in 1999 that it was taking measures against money laundering, while the United Arab Emirates and Oman are studying potential laws. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )