Bahrain Shura agrees tougher money laundering law
Manama, April 23, 2013
Major amendments that would penalise people for profiting from laundered money have been approved by Bahrain’s Shura Council, a report said.
The changes were made to the money laundering and terrorism funding law, which also includes punishing those who legalise, cover up or receive a share from laundered money, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
They were approved during yesterday's session following requests by the Interior Minister and come in line with new international advancements to combat related crimes.
Council foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said the concept of money laundering and terrorism funding has expanded since the law was first introduced in 2006.
"The original law doesn't deal with the usage of revenues gained through crimes, possessing or funding without clearly stating its sources or seizing the cash received through money laundering through a court from inheritors," he said.
"For that we have, in co-operation with the Interior Ministry, added in definitions to interrelated crimes, which would close loopholes that would let criminals off the hook."
Under the amendments, those who carry out operations using money earned through crime knowingly or even through assumption would be considered as a partner in money laundering.
Helping hide, cover up or legalise the use of laundered money and getting a share or providing logistic support to crimes to receive revenue will also be considered as partnership in money laundering.
Possessing or keeping such money will also be considered as partnership in money laundering.
"With the exception of those with good intentions and who are cleared of having knowledge of the laundered money, courts have every right to seize questionable money temporarily until a verdict is issued," added Shaikh Khalid.
"Courts have every right to seize money even from inheritors as it has not been earned rightfully from legal sources."
The law will be referred back to parliament for revision following the amendments and if approved will be referred to His Majesty King Hamad for ratification. – TradeArabia News Service