Singapore’s new AML and CFT legislation examined by lawyers

A Singapore law firm has issued an online statement commenting on new anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) legislation introduced this year.

The statement posted by law firm Rajah & Tann Asia LLP explains that, in May 2015, Singapore’s parliament passed amendments to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Act to maintain Singapore’s commitment to meet standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Prepared by lawyers Lionel Tay and Nigel Desmond Pereira the statement outlines the entire increased scope of AML and CTF obligations, therefore taking into account legislation that predates this year’s new laws.

Money laundering

The lawyers discuss the various stages of money laundering: placement (the physical disposal, usually of cash); layering (the separation of proceeds from the sources of crime), and integration (where the illicit funds resurface in the legitimate system).

They explain how, through this process, the illicit funds are moved into the legitimate economy in such a way as to conceal its origins.

Terrorist financing

Tay and Pereira explain how terrorists often use techniques similar to those of money launderers, but tend to favour smaller financial transactions.

They say methods used to conduct terrorist financing include the use and purchase of legitimate businesses, cash smuggling and placement, trade linked schemes, dealings in precious stones and metals and online or ATM transfers.

AML and CTF Obligations

The lawyers catalogue AML and CFT obligations in Singapore as related to several different financial and non-financial sector operations.

Although the specific AML and CTF obligations may differ, the general concepts are largely similar.

Preventive measures

The preventive measures which organisations are required to take are then summarised.

These include obligations related to risk assessment, due diligence (including know-your-customer requirements), record keeping, suspicious transaction reporting and the need for organisations to develop and maintain adequate internal AML and CFT policies.

A full copy of Rajah & Tann’s analysis of Singapore’s AML and CFT legislation can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: