Money laundering cases shoot up by 120%, says report

Updated 27 January 2014

Money laundering cases shoot up by 120%, says report

The Monetary Investigation Unit (MIU) in the Ministry of Interior received 3,919 notifications about money-laundering in the past two years, and 419 notifications about financing terrorism.
In all, 223 notifications related to financial crimes and 88 concerning financing terrorism were shifted to the investigation authorities.
An MIU report said there had been a significant increase of 120 percent in the number of notifications that were registered between 2008 and 2012.
The number of notifications regarding money-laundering referred to the investigation authorities decreased in 2012 compared to 2011. In 2012, the number of cases referred was 106, as compared to 117 in 2011.
Notifications regarding terror financing increased from 202 in 2011 to 217 in 2012, and 46 cases were referred to investigation authorities 2012 compared to 42 in the previous year.
Notifications were categorized according to the entity that reported them. Financial institutions reported 1,845 money-laundering cases, while financing terrorism touched 109 cases.
Non-financial business community reported six cases, and terrorism got three notifications. Various government authorities reported 209 money-laundering cases, and 62 cases of financing terrorism, while individual notifications stood at 17 cases of money-laundering and 43 cases of suspicion of financing terrorism.
Article One of the anti-money laundering system which was initiated by the Experts’ Committee in the Council of Ministers states that committing an act with the aim of hiding the fact behind money acquired in a manner that is in violation of laws and regulations, and misleading others into thinking it is legitimate, will be considered as money-laundering.
Money-laundering is also any procedure or process conducted with money or acquisitions, knowing that it is an offshoot of a criminal act, or an illegal source; transferring money or acquisitions, using them, keeping them or moving them knowing they resulted from a criminal act or an illegal source.
Hiding the nature, source or ownership of money, in addition to hiding its place knowing it resulted from a criminal act or came from an illegal source will also be considered as money-laundering.
The system stated in Article Four that money-laundering is independent of the original crime, and punishing those who commit the original crimes doesn’t exempt money-launderers from punishment, whether inside or outside the Kingdom.
The system defines penalties for those involved in such actions with a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and a maximum fine of SR 7 million, if the money-laundering crime was linked to any of the following cases:
If the criminal committed his crime within an organized gang or used violence during the crime, if the criminal is a public employee and the crime was connected to his job, or if the criminal used his job or power to commit the crime, if the criminal misled women and juniors, if the criminal committed the crime through a correctional, charitable or educational facility.
The above sentence will apply even if local or foreign convictions were passed against the criminal especially in similar cases.
Article 20 of the penal system stated that if the criminal wasn’t convicted for any of the preceding acts, he will be imprisoned for a maximum term of two years and fined SR 500,000. Both punishments will apply to council chairmen and directors of financial institutions, specified non-financial institutions and non-profit organizations that violate the system.
Convictions varied in Article 22 in relation to the identity of the criminal. If he is a Saudi, he will be banned from travel for the same period as his prison sentence; travel ban will not be less than two years, and the Minister of Interior or someone deputizing for him can give him permission to travel in urgent situations during the ban.
Non-Saudis will be deported after completing their prison term, and will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom, unless they want to perform Haj and Umrah.


Saudi Arabia announces 32 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 10 min 47 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces 32 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The health ministry said 806 more people have recovered from the virus
  • A total of 68,965 patients have recovered from the disease in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 32 more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 1,975 new cases of the disease on Thursday.
Of the new cases, 675 were recorded in Riyadh, 286 in Makkah, 259 in Jeddah, 124 in Madinah and 112 in Hufof.
The health ministry added that 806 more people have recovered from the virus, taking the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 68,965.
A total of 611 people have died of the disease in the Kingdom so far.
Health minister Dr. Tawfiq Rabiah urged all citizens and residents earlier this week to wear a mask to help stop the spread of the virus.
“The transmission of COVID-19 will be significantly reduced If everyone commits to wearing a mask when leaving their homes. We urge you to comply with healthy precautionary measures, and ask that you remind those who do not adhere,” he said.