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Egypt’s Prime Minister Issues Decision to Amend Anti-Money Laundering Law

Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has issued a decision to amend certain provisions of the executive regulations of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, according to documents viewed by Daily News Egypt.

The first amended article includes several definitions, such as the definition of the law itself, which states that it refers to the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

  • Assets: All financial and virtual assets, economic resources such as oil and other natural resources, properties, national or foreign currencies, securities or commercial papers of any kind or value, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable, and all legal documents, instruments, records, certificates fixed or evidenced in any form, including digital or electronic form.
  • Underlying crime: Any act that constitutes a felony or misdemeanour under Egyptian law, whether committed inside or outside the country and is punishable in both countries.
  • Proceeds: Money resulting directly or indirectly from the commission of any predicate offence.
  • Financing terrorism: Any action involving the collection, receipt, possession, supply, transportation, or provision of money, assets, weapons, ammunition, explosives, equipment, data, information, materials, or any other items to an individual or group engaged in any organized or unorganized terrorist activity, inside or outside the country, directly or indirectly. This includes digital or electronic forms and has the intention of using all or part of it in the commission of any terrorist crime or knowing that it will be used for that purpose, whether the terrorist act is committed or not. It also covers providing a place for training or a safe haven for one or more terrorists, providing them with weapons, documents, or other means of assistance, or any other means of support, financing, or travel, even if it is not related to the terrorist act.
  • Terrorist crimes: Any crime specified in the Anti-Terrorism Law issued by Law No. 11 of 2015, as well as any felony or misdemeanour committed using one of the means of terrorism, or intending to achieve or carry out a terrorist purpose, or intending to incite the commission of any of the mentioned or threatened crimes. This is without prejudice to the provisions of the Penal Code.

The text defines a customer as a natural or legal person, or a legal arrangement, who opens an account, executes a transaction, or receives a service from a financial institution or any non-financial profession or business.

The definition also includes the beneficial owner, who is the natural person who actually owns or controls the customer or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction is being conducted. This includes persons who exercise effective control over the customer, whether the customer is a legal person or a legal arrangement.

Regarding legal arrangements, they may include investment funds or similar legal structures. Loan funds are created when a client entrusts a custodian to manage their funds for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. This legal relationship may involve the appointment of an independent overseer for the fund and the determination of its powers.

Moreover, the amended law defines high-risk persons by virtue of their public positions, as individuals who hold high local or foreign public positions, such as heads of states, governments, and senior government officials, as well as senior executives of state-owned companies and professionals who engage in activities on a regular basis that can be considered as a source of income.

Financial institutions definition include banks operating in Egypt and their branches abroad, foreign banks operating in Egypt, exchange companies, and other entities licensed to deal in foreign currency under the Central Bank of Egypt Law and the Banking System issued by Law No. 194 of 2020, whenever these other entities engage in any of the financial activities specified in this article for the benefit of a client or on their behalf.

Furthermore, the amended law expanded the definition of financial institutions to include payment systems operators and payment service providers subject to the provisions of the Central Bank of Egypt Law and the Banking System. The National Post Authority is also included in this definition in terms of the financial services it provides.

The amended regulations also include new requirements for financial institutions and other businesses to:

  • Identify and verify the beneficial owners of their customers.
  • Report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit.
  • Take measures to prevent the use of their services for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Source : Daily News Egypt