The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) Bill 2009

The Main Purpose of the Bill is to:

•Identify and verify the identity of their customer and of any assets ultimate beneficial owner, and to monitor their business relationship with the customer;
•Report suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing to the public authorities, usually, the national financial intelligence unit;
•Take supporting measures, such as ensuring proper training of the personnel and the establishment of appropriate internal preventive policies and procedures.

The 2009/Bill/Act will be applicable to Intermediaries – investment, mortgage and insurance and other investment/insurance businesses which are regulated by the Financial Regulator.  Going forward the term “Designated Body” will be replaced by the term “Designated persons”

The changes which the new Act will bring are:

•“Designated Persons” will be required to perform customer due diligence on a risk based approach. There will be 3 types of customer due diligence depending on the circumstances, (1) Simplified (2) Standard (3) Enhanced identification

•The following products are exempted from the requirements in relation to Customer Due Diligence:
– Life Assurance policies with an Annual premium of not more than € 1000 or Single Premium of not more than €2,500
– An Insurance Policy in respect of a pension scheme that does not have a surrender value and cannot be used as collateral.
– A Pension scheme providing for retirement benefits to employees where the rules of the scheme do not allow a member’s interest to be assigned.

Designated Persons must have special procedures when doing business with a foreign politically exposed person (PEP) a family member of a “PEP” or a close business associate of a PEP.   (A politically exposed person means an individual who is or was in the preceding year, entrusted with a prominent public function including a member of an administrative, management or supervisory body of a state owned enterprise, a head of state, head of government or any member of government, any member of court or on the board of a central bank or a high ranking official in the army) [sic: I guess the folks who send me emails from different basket case nations looking to ‘hold money in my account’ will need to further identify themselves! lol]

Designated persons must have systems in place (procedures & controls) to comply with the new requirements

Designated persons will now be supervised by the Financial Regulator for compliance with the new legislation and will be subject to the Sanctions Regime for any breaches.

Designated persons must comply with directions from the Garda not to carry out a service or transaction for a period not exceeding 7 days – this can be extended by the District Court.

Designated persons must continue to avoid the offence of “tipping-off”

Designated persons will still be required to report to the Garda Siochana and the Revenue Commissioners any knowledge or suspicion they have that a person or business is engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing.

Directors, Officer and senior managers will be liable for failures by the “Designated person”

The moral of the story remains somewhat the same, if you engage in any shady transactions then you will go down for it, and rightly so.

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