Thousands of Israeli bank accounts were blocked yesterday as a consequence of the nation’s new anti-money laundering law, which came into effect Monday, August 18, 2003. Some 20,000 corporate bank accounts have been affected, reported Haaretz.
Due to the concern that the state of Israel has become a base for widespread money laundering, the government established the Prohibition on Money Laundering Law in 2000. The law imposes identification, record retaining and reporting obligations on providers of financial services. Monetary sanctions are imposed for failure to comply with these criteria.
Monday was the last date for every accountholder in the country to confirm personal details with financial institutions. Any accounts where personal details could not be verified were blocked accordingly. Beneficiary declaration forms from private customers and corporations are continuing to stream into local banks.
Israeli law defines money laundering as performing a property transaction, on property originating directly or indirectly in an offense, used to commit an offense, or enabling the commission of an offense, with the object of concealing or disguising its source, the identity of the owners of the rights therein, its location, its movements or the performance of a transaction with respect to such property.
The Israeli anti-money laundering law is based on the European Union (EU) model, which requires the reporting of suspicious transactions and limited reporting of transactions bearing certain characteristics, unlike the American model, which requires an all-encompassing and general obligation to report. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )