Saudi agencies join forces to tackle trade system abuses

Saudi Arabia has announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the country’s Public Prosecution and its General Customs Authority (GCA) to the effect that they will cooperated to detect and prevent money laundering through its trade system.

Trade-based money laundering (TBML) is one of three specific areas of cooperation contemplated in the MoU, alongside emerging trade system threat typologies and methods for confronting illicit practices

Coordination needed

The MoU recognises the urgent need for greater coordination between public bodies that safeguard different parts of the money laundering chain.

It aims to chart a clear course for enhanced information sharing between the customs and legal authorities, to include bilateral meetings and new data sharing practices.

Changing tactics

The Saudi authorities have been concerned for some time about the low levels of prosecutions of customs cases and in 2019 transferred investigations and prosecutions of customs cases from the GCA to the Public Prosecution.

That approval came after the attorney general said the Public Prosecution is ready and able to investigate and prosecute customs crimes.

The latest MoU suggests neither agency is alone capable of safeguarding the trade system and that capabilities in both customs and legal authorities need to be employed to successfully investigate and prosecute abuses of the system.



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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