Welcome to the Saudi Arabia focus edition of Law Update.
One of the key markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that continues to lead from the front is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). As the largest country in the Middle East and the 18th largest economy in the world, the progress KSA continues to make is underpinned by its Vision 2030 that envisions developing the country as an investment powerhouse and hub that ultimately connects Asia, Europe, and Africa. Given Saudi Arabia’s significance to the regional economy, our team of experts have prepared a range of pertinent articles that provide insights into new laws, regulations, and the legal landscape in the Kingdom.
This edition will provide you with an up-to-date guide on matters such as; the framework issued by the Saudi Central Bank on IT governance, the anti-corruption landscape under Vision 2030; we also provide practical tips for dispute avoidance. This is only a snapshot; there are many more articles within the KSA focus section for you to read, which we hope you will find valuable and enjoyable.Read the edition
Who are the people whose money is subject to legal accountability?
The Central Bank has the right to conduct audits of the financial institutions it is responsible for by watching for any suspicious financial activity subject to money laundering or financial crime.
What are the punitive measures taken against financial institutions that violate the laws against money laundering?
Money Laundering Reporting Office
The money laundering reporting office was created in accordance with Article (12) of the Law; and even though it is affiliated with the Central Bank of Iraq, it is independent in its line of work and has its own duties and responsibilities. Some of these duties include the following:
a) To collect, process, analyze and disseminate the financial transactions subject to financial control and reporting.
b) Participate in implementing Iraqi policy on preventing money laundering, financing of crime, and financing of terrorism;
c) Cooperate and interact with and exchange information with Iraqi state authorities, competent bodies of other countries and international organizations on money laundering, financing of crime, and financing of terrorism;
d) Represent Iraq, according to the established procedure, in international organizations dealing with preventing money laundering, financing of crime, and financing of terrorism according to the established procedure, in international organizations dealing with preventing money laundering, financing of crime, and financing of terrorism.
In accordance with Article 14 of the Law, the Central Bank and Anti Money Laundering reporting office may request foreign authorities responsible for supervision of financial institutions or markets, foreign financial intelligence units, or criminal or judicial prosecution authorities, to provide them with information and documents required for the performance of their duties. The CBI and the Reporting Office may share with such foreign authorities as are prepared to provide reciprocal services to the CBI and Reporting Office, information and documents, including nonpublic information and documents, within their discretion, related to or gathered pursuant to this Act, for the purpose of preventing money laundering or the commission of crime, including but not limited to terrorist financing.
Further, Article 21 of the Law provides that the CBI and the Reporting Office retains the right to request all persons to report the transport currency or other monetary instruments greater than 15 million Iraqi dinars from a place within Iraq to a place outside Iraq, or from a place outside Iraq to a place within Iraq. It then goes on to mention that the law requires that a person report the following when transferring money outside Iraq:
a) The legal capacity in which the person filing the report is acting;
b) The origin, destination, and route of the currency and/or monetary instruments;
c) The amount and kind of monetary instruments and/or currency transported;
d) Other additional information as required.
Money laundering poses significant concern to governmental agencies and international bodies alike. The CBI, aware of the difficulties faced in countering the same, particularly given the economic and security environment on ground, has introduced a number of measures which have helped to mitigate this phenomenon, and ensure greater transparency in transactions.