Kenya’s Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act, which was signed in December 2009 and came into effect in June 28 2010, aims to enable the identification, tracing, freezing as well as seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime.
Money laundering is the process of engaging in financial transactions that conceal or disguise the identity, source, location and destination of the money.
The AML Law seeks to establish a Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) and Assets Recovery Agency, to criminalize money laundering and further require reporting institutions to take measures to help combat money laundering.
The enactment of Kenya’s AML Law means that the country has now joined its other three EAC members – Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi – that have already put in pace such legislation, with Uganda expected to enact the same in the 2010/2011 financial year. Tanzania has had its AML Law since 2006.
The Act has further ensured Kenya’s compliance with anti-money laundering standards set by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), an intergovernmental body that promotes policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing globally.
The law’s enactment is being lauded as a positive move by players in the country’s banking and financial services sector, who see it as a key step in the country’s fight against money laundering in the country and region.
John Wanyela, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) executive director said that even though the legislative process leading to the enactment of the AML Act has been long, it has finally been realized.
The process of enacting Kenya’s AML law began in 2004, with the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009 being passed by Parliament on December 11 2009, while its commencement date was set at June 28 2010 by Kenya’s finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Money launderers take advantage of any failure in unregulated and unsupervised sectors to whitewash their ill-gotten gains. They make sure that their proceeds of crime escape the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies,” said Wanyela. READ MORE
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