Benin

Last updated: 14/05/2009


CENTRAL AUTHORITY FOR REPORTING

La Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF).


OTHER ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATOR(S)

Le Groupe intergouvernemental d'action contre le blanchiment d'argent en Afrique de l'ouest (GIABA)

La Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO).


ARE LAWYERS COVERED BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION?

Yes Article 5 of Directive N° 07/2002/CM/UEMOA clearly lists the circumstances under which the directive would be applicable to members of the legal profession.


LIST THE LAWS REGARDING ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING, INDICATING WHICH LAWS ARE APPLICABLE TO LAWYERS.

La loi uniforme n° 2006-14 portant lutte contre le blanchiment de capitaux, transposing into national law la Directive N° 07/2002/CM/UEMOA du 19 septembre 2002, relative à la lutte contre le blanchiment de capitaux dans les Etats membres de l'Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA).

Le Règlement n°14/2002/CM/UEMOA du 19 septembre 2002, relatif au gel des fonds et autres ressources financières dans le cadre de la lutte contre le blanchiment de capitaux et le financement du terrorisme dans les Etats membres de l’UEMOA.

Directive N°04/2007/CM/UEMOA relative a la lutte contre le financement du terrorisme dans les etats membres de l'Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA).


ARE VISITING LAWYERS SUBJECT TO LOCAL LAWS REGARDING ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING, AND, IF SO, TO WHAT EXTENT?

N/A.


LIST ANY MONEY LAUNDERING GUIDANCE FOR LAWYERS (FOR EXAMPLE, LAW SOCIETY OR BAR ASSOCIATION GUIDELINES) CURRENTLY IN PLACE.

N/A.


IS THE LAW SOCIETY/BAR ASSOCIATION INVOLVED IN SUPERVISING OR ENFORCING COMPLIANCE WITH ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS?

N/A.


DESCRIBE CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING WHEN IT MUST BE UNDERTAKEN BY LAWYERS.

See Article 10 Directive N°04/2007/CM/UEMOA.

Lawyers by reason of Article 5 must in compliance with Article 10 ensure a due diligence approach whenever dealing with:

  • Payments in cash or deeds carried out under normal circumstances which unitarily or cumulatively sum up to are higher than the value of 50 000 000 (fifty million) francs cfa;
  • All transactions based on a sum equal to or higher than the value of 10 000 000 (ten million) francs cfa if under suspicious circumstances (unusual, complex, or without any legal or economic justification).

In such circumstances, lawyers must find out from the client or through any other means possible, the origin and destination of the money in question as well as the objective of the transaction and the identities of people involved in conformity with the provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of Article 7 of the Directive.

Specifics on the nature of the transaction, the identities of the client and beneficiary and the main parties to the transaction are taken down in writing in a confidential log to be used for reports if the need arises.


DOES YOUR COUNTRY FOLLOW A RISK-BASED APPROACH TO CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE BY LAWYERS?

 N/A.


ARE THERE ENHANCED DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CLIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS?

N/A.


ARE THERE SIMPLIFIED DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CLIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, LISTED COMPANIES?

N/A.


ARE LAWYERS PERMITTED TO RELY ON THIRD PARTY DUE DILIGENCE? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

N/A.


WHEN IS A LAWYER UNDER AN OBLIGATION TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS?

According to Article 26 lawyers are under an obligation to report:

  • Sums of money or other goods in their possession if such could be the result or proceeds of money laundering;
  • Transactions involving goods when such could be used for money laundering;
  • Sums of money or any other goods in their possession if suspicious that they could be used for the financing of terrorism or appear to be the proceeds of money laundering related transactions;
  • Any information which could raise or reinforce suspicion. 

DOES ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE AND/OR DUTIES OF CONFIDENTIALITY PROVIDE A DEFENCE OR PARTIAL/TOTAL EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS?

No. See Article 34 of the AML Directive N°04/2007/CM/UEMOA.


DOES LOCAL LAW PROVIDE ANY CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL INDEMNITY TO A LAWYER WHO HAS REPORTED A SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION?

Article 31 holds the state responsible for any damages which could ensue from a declaration of suspicion made in good faith which nonetheless turns out to be false.

Articles 30 and 32 provide for exemptions from criminal and civil liability for declarations of suspicion made in good faith.


ONCE A SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION REPORT HAS BEEN FILED, IS A LAWYER ALLOWED TO PROCEED WITH THE LEGAL ADVICE/TRANSACTION, AND, IF SO, MUST CONSENT FROM AUTHORITIES BE OBTAINED FIRST? 

According to Article 28, if the CENTIF issues an order to halt the transaction within the delay period for the conclusion of the transaction as stated in the declaration of suspicion for a period not exceeding 48 hours, a lawyer cannot proceed with the transaction. After 48 hours however, if there is no subsequent order from the competent judge the lawyer may proceed with the transaction.


IS THERE A TIPPING-OFF PROHIBITION? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

Yes. See Article 37 DIRECTIVE N°04/2007/CM/UEMOA.


DESCRIBE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON ACCEPTING A NEW CLIENT. 

N/A.


ARE THERE ONGOING MONITORING REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING CLIENTS? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE. 

N/A.


DESCRIBE ANY OTHER WAYS IN WHICH LAWYERS ARE AFFECTED BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION. 

N/A.


HAVE LAWYERS IN YOUR JURISDICTION BEEN IMPLICATED IN MONEY LAUNDERING, INCLUDING ANY TYPE OF COMPLAINT, ARREST OR PROSECUTION?

N/A.


HAS THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF) CONDUCTED A MUTUAL EVALUATION OF THIS COUNTRY, AND, IF SO, WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS CONCERNING LAWYERS’ COMPLIANCE WITH THE FATF 40+9 RECOMMENDATIONS?

N/A.


Information provided by:

Manyi Orok-Tambe
Commercial Law intern

International Bar Association
10th Floor, 1 Stephen Street
LONDON, W1T 1AT
United Kingdom

Email: Gonzalo.Guzman@int-bar.org  


Sources

La Directive N° 07/2002/CM/UEMOA du 19 septembre 2002, relative à la lutte
contre le blanchiment de capitaux dans les Etats membres de l'Union
Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine
(UEMOA)  

Ministère de L’Economie et des Finances – République du Bénin.  

 


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