April 2013

 

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16/04/2013 Kuwait’s National Assembly Approves New Anti-Money Laundering Law

In response to an earlier commitment to strengthen its anti-money laundering and countering of terrorist (AML/CFT) financing strategies, the National Assembly of Kuwait passed a new AML/CFT Law on 2 April 2013. The draft law had been before the legislative body since 2007.

The revised law seeks to address many of the deficiencies of the existing 2002 AML Law, including criminalising terrorist financing, providing for enhanced due diligence measures for politically exposed persons and imposing greater penalties for AML/CFT offences.

The updated legislation also clarifies the provisions relating to lawyers. Under the 2002 AML Law, lawyers are covered by the AML regulations as “obligated persons,” and thus are required to conduct due diligence on new and existing clients and report suspicious transaction immediately upon becoming aware of them.

Pursuant to the changes introduced in the latest law, lawyers will be able to rely on third party due diligence. Lawyers may also be exempt from their reporting obligations if they obtained information relating to suspicious transactions that is protected by confidentiality.

The new law will become effective once it is signed into force by the Emir of Kuwait. 

 

Prepared by:

Maliha Abu-Nowar

IBA Legal Intern