Thursday, April 21, 2005

New anti-money laundering guide published by Gibraltar Government

Aimed at protecting local businesses

Gibraltar Government yesterday announced the publication of an Anti-Money Laundering Guidance booklet to assist local businesses in understanding their obligations and provide practical advice if confronted with such situations.

The advice will apply to all cash payments of a single transaction of 15,000 euros or more.

The guide calls on businesses to exercise their judgment when to refuse business, and states that it is the legal responsibility of a business to report a suspicion as soon as practicable after information has come to their attention.

The guide also states that as long as this report is made in good faith, a business cannot be sued by a customer for “breach of confidence.” It adds that “a disclosure is a defence against any money laundering offence.”

It also explains the procedure to appoint a money laundering reporting officer at each business, (i.e.) an employee who must be adequately trained to deal with these cases. Additionally all managers and employees in contact with customers must also be trained to gain a working knowledge of anti-money laundering procedures.

A Gibraltar Government spokesman said:

“As a result of changes to the Criminal Justice Ordinance resulting from the implementation of the Second Money Laundering Directive (2001/97/EC), businesses that accept cash as payment for goods over a certain value need to comply with anti-money laundering obligations. The Government has issued a Guidance Note to assist these businesses in understanding those obligations and to provide some practical advice.

The Guidance Note applies to businesses that accept cash payment for goods valued at the equivalent of 15,000 euros or more. It explains how these businesses must implement procedures to prevent themselves from being used to launder money.

The Guidance Note also sets out some examples of anti-money laundering systems.

The Chamber of Commerce and the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses (GFSB)
are being supplied with a copy of the Guidance Note.

The Guidance Note will also be available on the Government’s website.


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