What is money laundering ?

Money laundering is an illegal act intended to conceal the source or use of illicit funds, by converting cash into untraceable bank transactions. The process goes through three main stages:

• Placement: the launderer introduces the illegal proceeds into the financial system.

• Layering: the launderer engages in a series of operations on the illicit funds movements, in order to distance them from their source. This involves using different channels that make reverse tracing impossible.

• Integration: the funds re-enter the formal financial system, and the launderer can invest the funds in any business of high-value assets

Who can be criminalizied as money launderer ?

  1. The person who commits a offence of money laundering is any person who commits or refrains from an act that includes gaining money or possessing; disposing of; or moving; managing; keeping; exchanging; depositing; investing; manipulating their value; or moving; transferring them with the purpose of hiding them; layering their source or real nature or place or the means of disposing of them or their ownership or rights, if these funds are proceeds of one of the following offences- whether they were committed inside or outside the Republic, they should fulfill the conditions of knowledge and will, which will be driven from the acts undertaken by the person who committed them:

    1. Theft and embezzlement or extortion of public funds by fraud or bribery, or breach of trust as stated in the Criminal and Punishment law.

    2. Forging official or customary documents; counterfeiting money, banknotes and coins; promoting counterfeited or inconvertible currency; counterfeiting seals, official documents and their equivalents and offences related to the national economy.

    3. Extorting private funds within the scope of the Criminal and Punishment law.

    4. Offences stated in the anti-corruption law.

    5. Offences of tax evasions custom duties trafficking.

    6. Offences of import and trade of weapons.

    7. Offences of cultivating, manufacturing and trading narcotic plants and substances inside the country or exporting them. Also bringing alcohols into the country or making them or trading in them or any other activities prohibited by Sharia like prostitution or gambling.

    8. Membership in an organized criminal group.

    9. Sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking.

    10. Trading in proceeds of thefts.

    11. Trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling.

    12. Smuggling antiquities and historical manuscripts.

    13. Counterfeiting trade marks and goods and trading in them.

    14. Environment offences.

    15. Manipulating financial markets and trading in market instruments on the basis of unpublished information.

    16. Offences stated in the Anti-Kidnapping and Highway Robbery Law.


  2. Any person who attempted or incited or assisted in committing any of the acts mentioned in paragraph (a) of this article.

Who can be criminalized as a financer of terrorism?

The person who commits the following acts is considered an offender of the of financing of terrorism offence:

a- The person who directly or indirectly collects or provides money by any means, while knowing that it will be used either partially or fully in financing the following acts:

  1. Any act or threat of violence under any motive or purpose in implementation of an individual or group criminal project, and aims to terrorize or intimidate a population by harming them, or endangering their lives, or freedom, or security; or harming the environment or any of the public or private utilities or properties, or occupying or seizing them; or endangering any of the national resources; or forcing the government or an international organization to assume or refrain from any act.

  2. Any act that constitutes an offence under any related conventions or treaties the Republic had ratified or acceded to.

  3. Any act that constitutes an offence under the Anti-kidnapping and Highway Robbery law.

b-Any person attempted to commit, participated or incited or assisted in committing any of the acts mentioned above

What are the penalties for money laundering and the financing of terrorism?

Without detriment to any more severe penalty stipulated in any other law, any person commits any money laudering or financing of terrorism offences shall fall under the following penalties:

  1. maximum imprisonment of seven years.

  2. Confiscation by virtue of a final verdict in favour of the State Treasury’s benefit of all the funds and returns earned from money laudering and financing of terrorism offences and their related offences without detriment to the right of bone fide parties.  

  3. The court may pass any complementary penalty, according to the laws in force.

  4. The abatement of a criminal action does not obstruct, for any reason whatsoever, the judgement of confiscating the funds earned as proceeds of money laudering or financing of terrorism operations, including confiscating the instruments used in money laudering and financing of terrorism and any properties possessed by the accused person or by a third party.

What is the FIU role in the fight against money laundering and financing terrorism?

the Unit shall undertake the following tasks:

  1. Receiving and analyzing the notifications sent by the financial and non-financial institutions and the control and supervisory bodies on the money laundering or financing of terrorism suspicious operations and then submit these notifications to the concerned bodies to take action, if necessary. The Unit shall establish a database of the information in possession and shall make it available for the Public Prosecution, according to the criminal procedures law.

  2. Requesting any additional information that are considered useful for its function, if this information is related to any previous feed of information received during its course of action, or upon a request received from its counterpart units in other countries. The parties obliged to notify, shall provide the Unit with the said informaiton in a maximum period of one week, from the date of request, unless the Unit decides on a different deadline, and this shall be in the form applied by the Unit. In case of emergencies, the Unit may decide on a shorter deadline, according to the rules drawn in the regulations.

  3. Submitting the notifications, if the Unit have serious indications on suspicious money laudering or finanicng of terrorism operations to the Public Prosecution, with all the required and relevant attachments of evidence.

  4. The Unit may request the following agencies to send any additional information in relation to the notifications received, if they are considered useful to assume its job, or according to a request received from a foreign AML unit:

1. The agencies obliged to notify.

2. The supervision and control bodies.

3. Any other government authorities.

The aforementioned bodies shall provide the Unit with the information required in a maximum period of 2 weeks from the date of request.

  1. Notifying the Committee and the concerned supervision and control bodies with any violation committed by the financial or non-financial institutions under this law to the provisions herewith.

  2. Publishing regular activity reports, in particular the statistics and analytical studies on AML/CFT.

  3. The Unit may carry out field visits to the agencies and institutions incorporated herein to verify its commitment to the provisions hereto and the related executive regulations.

  4. Participating in the regional and international seminars, workshops, conferences and meetings related to the Unit’s competences.

  5. The Unit may, upon its own initiative or by virtue of a request from its counterpart units in other countries exchange information with them, if it is committed to the rules of confidentiality and the principle of reciprocity, provided that the Committee shall be furnished with copies of these information.

  6. This information shall not be used for any other purpose apart from AML/CFT purposes, unless a relevant approval is ensured from the providers.

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