SAUDI ARABIA

Money laundering poses serious threat to economy and social life

November 11, 2019
Saudi Arabia has imposed severe penalties on money launderers, as conviction for this crime is subject to a fine of up to seven million riyals and imprisonment for up to fifteen years or both. — Courtesy photo
Saudi Arabia has imposed severe penalties on money launderers, as conviction for this crime is subject to a fine of up to seven million riyals and imprisonment for up to fifteen years or both. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH —
The Anti-Money Laundering Permanent Committee (AMLPC) has asserted that money laundering crimes pose a serious risk to the economic and social aspects of any country, especially those employing weak measures in combating the menace.

According to AMLPC, money laundering emerges from criminal minded people legitimizing funds resulting from other crimes, known by law as predicate offenses. This includes all offenses committed within, or any act committed outside the Kingdom if it constitutes a crime according to the laws of the State where it was committed and would have constituted an offense under the Shariah or statutory laws of the Kingdom had it been committed therein.

It is noteworthy that AMLPC, chaired by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), includes representatives from the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, justice, commerce and investment, finance, labor and social development, Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance, and Presidency of State Security, Public Prosecution, Presidency of General Intelligence, Capital Market Authority.

AMLPC was tasked to implement the FATF’s 40 recommendations to combat money laundering operations in accordance with the regulations in force in Saudi Arabia. One of AMLCP’s tasks is to implement the above recommendations and follow up the implementation, as well as to study all topics related to combating money laundering in Saudi Arabia.

The committee pointed out that the spread of money laundering operations in any society leads to increasing crimes, and declining in the values of education and culture because the rapid gains of those crimes do not require a scientific qualification to commit it. Money laundering operations in any country may lead to the spread of shadow economy or commercial concealment, resulting to decline the economic growth, in addition to high inflation rates, which can raise the prices, subsequently, undermining fair competition.

It also has adverse effects on other business activities.

Money laundering is considered a major offense requiring detention pursuant to Decision No. 2000 issued by the interior ministry in 1435. The concerned authorities deal strictly with anyone who legitimizes or conceals the origin of the money acquired or originating from acts criminalized under Shariah or laws; such as illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons, currency counterfeiting and other crimes. Concealing the true origin of money (laundering) is not limited to cash, but includes assets, property and economic resources of whatever value, type or manner of ownership. When such funds arise directly or indirectly from the commission of a predicate offense, they are called proceeds.

Saudi Arabia has imposed severe penalties on money launderers, as conviction for this crime is subject to a fine of up to seven million riyals and imprisonment for up to fifteen years or both. A Saudi convicted of money laundering shall be banned from traveling outside Saudi Arabia for a period similar to that of jail term. A non-Saudi convicted of money laundering shall be deported from the country after the execution of the sentence.


November 11, 2019
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