(May 20, 2014) On May 13, 2014, Egypt’s Interim President, Adly Mansour, issued a decree amending Law No. 80 of 2002 on combating money laundering. The purpose of the amendment is to curb the wave of terrorist acts that have plagued the country since July 2013. (A Presidential Decree to Modify Law to Combat Money Laundering [in Arabic], AL FAGR (May 12, 2014).)
Article 1 of the new presidential decree defines the terms money, money laundering, and proceeds, among others, and adds the term “anti-terrorism and money laundering unit,” which refers to a government entity responsible for investigating financial accounts or suspicious monetary transactions related to money laundering. The article also encompasses in its definition of financial institutions post offices, mortgage institutions, insurance companies, brokerages, and any financial entities working with stocks in the money market. (Id.)
The decree modifies article 4 of Law 80-2002 by expanding the powers and jurisdiction of the anti-money laundering unit of the Ministry of Justice. Under the modification, the unit now has jurisdiction over investigations not only of financial crimes, but also of all acts of terrorism. (Id.)
Article 7 of Law 80-2002 was revised to require businessmen and individuals working in the financial sector, including in the institutions covered under article 1 of the new decree, to report any suspicious activities to the anti-terrorism and money laundering unit. It also requires employees of financial institutions to keep records of all accounts and files related to the monetary transactions to be reviewed by members of the unit. (Id.)
Finally, the modified provisions impose higher penalties on violators, whether they are natural or legal persons.For example , the amended article 15 of Law 80-2002 punishes natural persons convicted of violating the law with imprisonment and a fine of between L.E.100,000 (about US$14,000) and L.E.500,000 (about US$65,000). (Id.) Formerly, natural persons were subject to fines of L.E.5,000-L.E.20,000 (about US$750-$3,500). (Law 80-2002, 20 OFFICIAL GAZETTE 2 (May 22, 2002).) The same new penalties apply, under article 16, to individuals who manage the administration of a legal person found to have violated the law. Article 16 also punishes the legal person itself with a fine of between L.E.100, 000 (about US$14,000) and L.E.5 million (about US$750,000). (A Presidential Decree to Modify Law to Combat Money Laundering, supra.) Formerly, no fine was imposed on the legal person.