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ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION, TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION Thanasis Korfiotis Cyprus Bar Association Board Member.

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Presentation on theme: "ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION, TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION Thanasis Korfiotis Cyprus Bar Association Board Member."— Presentation transcript:

1 ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION, TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION Thanasis Korfiotis Cyprus Bar Association Board Member

2 Legislation The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law of 2007 (No. 188(I)/2007). It was enacted on and came into force , amending and consolidating the previous laws of 1996 – It has been further amended with Law No. 58(I)/2010 and 80(I)/2012.

3 International and European Law The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law of 2007 is in line with the: United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna Convention 1988) Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (Strasbourg Convention 1990) Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism European Union Council Directives of 1991, 2004 and Recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on ML & FT

4 Entities falling under the provisions of the Law Banking institutions Cooperative Institutions Stockbroking firms Private Collective Investment Schemes Insurance Companies Accountants Lawyers Real Estate agents Dealers in precious metals and precious stones / jewellers Trust and Company Service Providers Money Transfer Services

5 Supervisory Authorities The Central Bank of Cyprus The Authority for the Supervision and Development of Cooperate Societies The Securities and Exchange Commission The Commissioner of Insurance The Council of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus The Council of the Cyprus Bar Association The Unit for Combating ML - MOKAS (for real estate agents and for the traders of precious stones and metals)

6 Supervisory Authorities Powers in case of non-compliance of supervised persons (section 59(6) of the Law) a) Request from the supervised person to take corrective action to remedy the situation within a specified time period. b) Impose an administrative fine of up to after giving the supervised person the opportunity to be heard. A further fine of per day may be imposed for each day of non-compliance. c) Amend, suspend or revoke operating licence.

7 Main scope of the Law to define and criminalise the laundering of the proceeds generated from all serious criminal offences And provide for the confiscation of such proceeds aiming at depriving criminals of their profits.

8 Prescribed offences (section 3 of the Law) The Law applies to offences which are referred to as prescribed offences and which comprise: a)Laundering offences b)Predicate offences

9 Laundering Offences (s 4 of the Law) Every person who knows, or ought to have known that any kind of property constitutes proceeds from a prescribed offence is guilty of an offence if he carries out any of the following: (a) converts or transfers or moves such property, for the purpose of concealing or disguising its illicit origin, or assists any person who is involved in the commission of a predicate offence to evade the legal consequences of his actions; (b) conceals or disguises the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement and rights with respect to property or ownership of this property; (c) acquires, possesses or uses such property; (d) participates in, associates or conspires to commit, or attempts to commit and aids and abets and provides counselling or advice for the commission of any of the offences referred to above; or (e) provides information with respect to investigations performed in relation to laundering offences, for the purpose of enabling the person who has gained profit from the commission of a predicate offence to retain the proceeds or the control of the proceeds from the commission of the said offence.

10 Penalties When the offender knows that the property constitutes proceeds from a predicate offence: on conviction by fourteen (14) years imprisonment or a fine of up to or both of these penalties When the offender ought to have known that the property constitutes proceeds from a predicate offence on conviction by five (5) years imprisonment or a fine of up to or both of these penalties

11 Predicate Offences (s 5 of the Law) a) All criminal offences punishable with imprisonment exceeding one year from which proceeds or assets were derived and which may constitute the subject of a laundering offence. b) Financing of terrorism offences. c) Drug trafficking offences.

12 Professional Obligations (s 58 of the Law) The Law requires all persons to establish systems and procedures in connection with the following: Customer identification procedures and customer due diligence; Record-keeping procedures in relation to clients identity and their transactions; Procedures of internal reporting to a competent person (Money Laundering Compliance Officer) and reporting to MOKAS; Other internal control and risk management procedures for the purpose of forestalling and preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism; The thorough examination of every transaction that is considered to be of high risk due to its nature and especially complicated or unusually large transactions and all transactions that are being executed with no profound economic reason;

13 Professional Obligations (s 58 of the Law) (continued) Measures for making employees aware of the above procedures, the legislation relating to money laundering and financing of terrorism, the directives issued by the competent Supervisory Authority and the relevant EU directives. Provision of training to their employees for the recognition and handling of transactions suspected to be associated with money laundering and financing of terrorism.

14 Identification procedures: Know Your Client – KYC The KYC process is vital for the prevention of ML & TF. Identification of contractual counterpart and beneficial owners. Documentary evidence required. Before the establishment of a business relationship or the carrying out of a transaction. Applies equally to natural persons and legal entities/arrangements.

15 When must identification procedures and measures of due diligence be adopted? (s 60 of the Law) (a) When they establish business relationships; (b) When they carry out once off transactions amounting to or more, whether or not the transaction is carried out in a single operation or in several operations which appear to be linked; (c) When there is suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing regardless of the amount of the transaction; (d) When there are doubts about the veracity or adequacy of the documents, data or information collected earlier for the identification of an existing client;

16 Client Identification Procedures and Due Diligence Measures – (s 61(1) of the Law) Information obtained from a reliable and independent source regarding the clients ID. Identifying the beneficial owner and taking risk-based and adequate measures to verify the clients identity. Understand the ownership and control structure of the client. Information in respect to the nature of the business relationship. On-going supervision.

17 Identification of Individuals The identity of an individual comprises: his/her name; date of birth; the current address at which the person can be located and his/her profession

18 Identification of legal entities and legal arrangements 1. Companies and Partnerships. i.e.: Copy of the companys Memorandum and Articles of Association Certificate of incorporation Other Certificates issued by the Registrar of Companies. Copy of the latest report and accounts 2. Trusts i.e. Verify the identity of trustees/settlors/beneficiaries. Identify the source of funds received/ nature of transaction/ payments made only within the terms of the trust and properly authorised in writing by the trustee. 3. Clubs, societies and charitable institutions i.e.: Examine the purpose of its operation Ensure legality (request constitution / certificate of Registration) Verify identity of all signatories

19 Additional obligations for certain types of clients: 1.Client relationship at distance 2.Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) 3.Non-cooperative country clients

20 Further obligations of the professionals: Continuous supervision duty of the relationship with their clients. Maintain for at least 5 years after the business relationship has ended, all necessary records. Educate employees. Appoint a person responsible for ML issues. (ML Compliance Officer).

21 Recognition and Reporting of Suspicious Transactions Obligation to Recognise and Report suspicious transactions - Section 27 Criminal Offence for any person that, in the course of his trade, profession, business or employment, acquires knowledge or reasonable suspicion, that another person is engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing not to report his knowledge or suspicion to MOKAS,as soon as it is reasonably practical after the information came to his attention. Failure to report in these circumstances is punishable on conviction by a maximum of five (5) years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding or both of these penalties.

22 Tipping – off (s 48 of the Law) It is an offence for any person, to make a disclosure, either to the person who is the subject of a suspicion or any third party that information or other relevant documentation on money laundering or terrorist financing has been transmitted to MOKAS or that a report of suspicious transactions or activities has been submitted or that the authorities carry out investigations and searches for money laundering or terrorist financing. "Tipping-off" under these circumstances is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years.

23 Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Disclosure of Information Appointment of MLCO - Section 69 Privileged information - Section 44 Order for the disclosure of information - Section 45

24 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION Thanasis Korfiotis Cyprus Bar Association Board Member


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