50% of the amount - money laundering commission!
Expert sources have warned that domestic money laundering is more dangerous and more massive than the recently disclosed imported crime.
She pointed out that domestic crimes in the shadow of corruption pervades the public money, unlike imported crimes, noting an increase of 63% in the reports submitted to the Investigation Unit ... 98% of which are by banks.
She noted that money laundering commissions range between 10% and 50% of the total laundered amount ... according to the crime and the target sector, stressing that the banking sector is the most prepared and fortified, while the retail sector is the least and highest risk.
She pointed out that recent issues confirm that the Financial Investigation Unit is not well and must be restructured, and the Money Laundering Law needs to be amended to further tighten the penalties and fines imposed.
She drew attention to the fact that some supervisory bodies need more attention in training and selection of experiences, as it is not permissible for an observer to be more qualified than them!
The sources said that "Kuwait is a valuable target for money-laundering gangs that have in-depth studies and an incredible ability to discover gaps." She asked, "Is the state ready, legally and censor, to prevent these crimes in order to avoid billions of fines or put them on the plaque?"
Here are the full details
At a time when imported money laundering cases in which Kuwaitis or foreigners accused of their crimes in Kuwait were publicly condemned, MPs and government alert during the past days, expert sources warned that the crimes committed with Kuwaiti money are more serious and bigger in size. The sources pointed out that the imported crimes for money laundering, including the cases of the Malaysian sovereign fund and North Korea, are for the laundering of foreign funds inside Kuwait, meaning that the money is foreign and the crime was partly or totally committed in Kuwait. known.
The sources pointed out that “corruption crimes and money laundering operations are two sides of the same coin, and what are the most common corruption crimes that society has been subjected to in recent years, some of which are valued at tens of millions and perhaps more, which confirm that the money-laundering engines rotate with their full force.
She pointed out that the increase in the number of reports filed on suspicions of money laundering and terrorist financing by 63% to 1687 reports during the past year, indicates an increase in corruption and an increase in crimes of public money laundering, and at the same time also indicates an increase in the capabilities and capabilities of Kuwaiti institutions in discovering these crimes.
And she continued: If the Kuwaiti defendant in the case of the Malaysian Fund washed more than a billion dollars, in addition to hundreds of thousands in the case of North Korea, which was washed in Kuwait, according to the American Prosecution newspaper, 108 thousand dinars were allocated to them by banks only, all of them are foreign money, then billions of dinars from Kuwaiti public money has been laundered, for example, linked to corruption cases in billions, foremost of which is the issue of insurance, in addition to millions of deposits, the hospitality of the interior, the Eurofighter, the residency trade, etc., although some of these cases are still pending before the judiciary.
The sources pointed out that Kuwait and the majority of the rich Gulf countries, given their financial strength and the weakness of tax systems in some of them, are an attractive environment for money-laundering gangs, which largely guarantee the results of converting dirty money illegally collected into clean and legitimate money, and the weak prospects of detection and confiscation, and that Unlike other regional countries, its financial reputation is weak and famous as money laundering centers. She pointed out that the international gangs for money laundering have deep studies for all countries of the world and a miraculous ability to discover loopholes, and if they discover weakness in a country they often turn into a hotbed for washing dirty money, and this matter is followed by penalties for that country and threatens to put it on the black lists in financial transactions.
The sources indicated that countries with good financial reputations where money laundering commissions reach large proportions compared to the financially weaker and more famous countries as money laundering centers, ranging from 10 to 50% and possibly more.
She clarified that the percentage of commissions is determined according to the type of crime and the sector targeted for money laundering, indicating that money laundering in banks is the highest ceiling as the most risky of monitoring operations with its systems, while the retail sector is the least given that it is the weakest in control and the easiest to pass operations without disclosing it.
Supervisory and legal readiness!
The sources asked: Is Kuwait ready to monitor and legally combat this phenomenon and spare Kuwaiti institutions the dangers of billion fines and put Kuwait on the black lists globally?
The sources said that the crime of money laundering, like other crimes, is committed daily in most countries of the world, but there are countries that have greater capabilities than others in reducing and detecting these crimes.
The sources confirmed that Kuwait has become largely legal and supervisory ready to face these crimes, especially after the approval of Law 106 of 2013 for money laundering and financing of terrorism, which came out of the womb of the Financial Investigation Unit, as an independent body representing Kuwait in the FATF financial action group, and the first meaning In Kuwait, to receive reports from entities and institutions about suspicions of money laundering, and then to refer them to the prosecution.
The sources stated that the recent imported issues raised in Kuwait, for which the Unit received reports years ago, confirm that the unit is not doing well, and that it needs to be rearranged, whether by appointing a unit head, or reviewing its work mechanism, and checking the technical capabilities of its employees, leading to a review Money laundering law to control the role of the unit, or to tighten penalties.
Banks .. and the “Central”
The sources stated that the banks, and above them the Central Bank of Kuwait, are the bulwark of Kuwait in the face of money laundering crimes, because of the "prudent" supervision and human cadres are the best locally compared to other supervisory authorities, and because the banks are the most targeted institutions of money laundering gangs.
She pointed out that the fact that 98% of the reports submitted to the Financial Investigation Unit are from the banking sector and exchange companies subject to the Central Bank of Kuwait control, as this confirms the readiness and efficiency of the sector in detecting the crime.
She mentioned that the cases of the Malaysian Fund and North Korea also confirmed the readiness of the sector, especially as the banks informed the Financial Investigation Unit about these crimes years ago. She pointed out that the “Central” is keen, in the framework of the audit cycle, to comply with the institutions subject to its control, and to apply them all policies and procedures that target the control systems of the framework for combating money laundering operations and its possession of advanced technical programs and systems that provide automatic alerts regarding operations and transactions executed on clients ’accounts alongside Review and update their policies, procedures, systems, and literal application of know your customer instructions.
The sources pointed to the ability of other regulatory bodies to implement the money laundering law in order of preference after the "central" is for the Capital Markets Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry and then the "nascent" insurance regulation unit.
On the other hand, the sources indicated that the cadres in most of the local regulatory bodies, including the Court of Auditors and the Financial Supervisors Authority, need greater attention in terms of training and the acquisition of expertise, to keep pace with the rapid developments in methods of corruption and money laundering, with the assistance of international expertise specializing in this field and cooperation with institutions International control performance control.
The sources said that many times, the observer is more experienced and knowledgeable than the observer, and thus can easily circumvent it.
Regarding the limits of the responsibilities of the concerned institutions for reporting money-laundering crimes, the sources said that the Central Bank imposes fines of up to a maximum of 500,000 dinars in the event that it violates not reporting the suspicion of money laundering, in addition to the fines imposed on it annually in the event of failure to update Anti-money laundering systems.
1- Why was the delay and investigation of the suspected suspicions delayed for years before being referred to the prosecution a few days ago?
2- Does the AML / CFT Law need to be amended? Volume 0%
3- Are the fines and penalties stipulated in the law deterrent?
4- Do all regulatory agencies in Kuwait play their supervisory role?
5- Do the cadres working in most of the supervisory bodies have the competence to carry out their duties?
6- Why do supervisory actors remain headless for years, and others whose board term ends without change?
Kuwait .. a precious goal
The sources affirmed that Kuwait is a valuable target of money-laundering gangs for its reputation and financial strength, as it is one of the most difficult countries in the world penetrated by money-laundering gangs, because of the strength of its banking system and the continuous updating of systems, programs and prudent monitoring by the Central Bank of Kuwait, calling on the government to move quickly to address deficiencies in some The authorities, in order to avoid fines and place the state on "Black List".
Weak control by the deputies
The sources pointed to the weak oversight role of the deputies of the National Assembly over the authorities concerned with the implementation of the Money Laundering Law, especially the Financial Investigation Unit, which has been operating without a head for years.
Between underestimation and intimidation!
The sources pointed out that some people are talking about billions of imported money laundering, as if it is a Kuwaiti public money, and instead of defending the reputation of Kuwait they are thrown its name among elephants in the North Korea issue, knowing that the amounts that were washed in Kuwait do not exceed hundreds of thousands, compared to 2.5 billion Dollars washed in other countries. She added: The crime remains a crime, whether in a dinar or a billion dinars, but opinion leaders must put the right things in place, and they have the burden of clarification and interpretation without underestimating or intimidating, and the state’s officials must provide greater transparency and awareness.
10 suspicions need investigation
It should be noted that Al-Qabas warned several months ago of the spread of several scenes in various economic sectors that raise suspicions of committing money-laundering crimes in society, including the following:
1- Increasing the number of millionaires annually, some of them for unknown reasons.
2- Sudden ownership of shares and real estate from time to time.
3- Medical centers spend millions on promotion every month, despite the few auditors!
4- Million expenditures for perfume and beauty shops.
5- The market of “fuchenstat” has become in millions, surrounded by big question marks.
6- Exhibitions and real estate promotion companies have left hundreds of victims of the real estate fraud.
7- Millions collected from the residency trade annually for the benefit of fake licensees, and so on!
8- The spread of car rental companies in various regions without cars!
9- Illegal transfers made by exchange offices to countries with international sanctions.
10- Exploitation of weak souls to the emergence of Kuwait on the map of foreign investments
By Salem Abdul Ghafour, June 1, 2020, published on alqabas