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Morocco’s Parliament Amends Anti-Money Laundering Law

Morocco’s Parliament Amends Anti-Money Laundering Law

Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 - 07:45
A parliamentary session in Morocco. AFP file photo

Morocco’s House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill to amend the penal code and the law to combat money laundering.

The justice and legislative and committee unanimously agreed on the amendment during a meeting on Monday.

In a plenary session on Tuesday, Justice Minister Mohamed Ben Abdelkader said the bill will enable authorities to “track illicit funds in preparation for their confiscation.”

“It also comes in line with making national laws compatible with the standards of the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).”

The bill extends the acts that constitute the money laundering crime to include even those committed abroad and expands “confiscation of property” to include “the predicate offense of money laundering.”

These come in implementation of FATF’s recommendation, which states that countries should take “legislative measures that allow the confiscation of laundered property, earnings or even means used or those intended to be used in money laundering or predicate crimes.”

The bill stipulates that financial and non-financial institutions, such as lawyers, notaries and others, are required to provide details of the operations they conduct with their clients to the National Financial Information Authority.

Monitoring of gambling activities in ships and trafficking in precious stones, which are used for money laundering, have been included in the bill’s control department.

The parliament’s step comes in line with FATF’s recommendations issued on Feb. 25.

FATF added Morocco and three other countries to the watch list for increased monitoring. Its so-called gray list currently has 19 countries and territories that it says are only partially fulfilling international rules for fighting terrorism financing and money laundering.

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