Implications of the money laundering law reform

The amendment to the money laundering law approved in the first debate requires accountants, lawyers and real estate agents to report suspicious transactions made by their clients.

Bill 19.951 reforming the Law on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs of Unauthorized Use, Related Activities, Legalization of Capital and Financing of Terrorism was approved in a first debate by the Legislature on April 21. The new regulation establishes the obligations on professionals engaged in non-financial activities, such as lawyers, accountants, notaries and real estate agents, once the law is fully approved and enacted.

Nacion.com reports that "...Specifically, the legal initiative obliges liberal professionals and merchants to maintain "know their client" policies, register with the Superintendency of Financial Entities (Sugef) and, with the criteria established in the law, report to the National Council For the Supervision of the Financial System (Conassif) any operations suspected as being laundering or financing for terrorism."

The statement by the Legislative Assembly details:

"... According to the initiative for the purpose of combating the legitimacy of capital, financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the following activities will be subject to this law:   

  1. Systematic or substantial operations of exchange of money and transfers, through instruments such as checks, bank drafts, bills of exchange or similar.  
  2. Systematic or substantial operations of emission, sale, rescue or transfer of traveler's checks or money orders.  
  3. Substantial systematic transfers of funds, by any means.
  4. Administration of trusts or any type of management of resources, carried out by persons, physical or legal, who are not financial intermediaries.
  5. Remittances of money from one country to another.  
  6. Credit card issuers, as well as credit card operators, when carrying out these activities under the parameters and definitions determined by the National Financial System Supervision Board, at the proposal of the Superintendency of Financial Institutions.

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