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Monaco: New Law on Money Laundering

(Aug. 3, 2009) On July 24, 2009, the Conseil National (Monaco's Parliament) adopted a new law on the fight against money-laundering, terrorism financing, and corruption, in order to conform to current international standards in these areas. (Conseil National, Loi No. 136 relatif à la lutte contre le blanchissement de capitaux, le financement du terrorisme et la corruption, Conseil National website,
(last visited July 31, 2009).)

The law follows recent recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval). This Committee was established in 1997 by the Council of Europe. Moneyval and FATF met in Monaco in November 2008. The new law replaces Law 1162 of July 7, 1993. (Id.)

The law has two major aims: (1) to further detail the client identification and verification obligations of financial institutions and professionals, and (2) to adapt the degree of vigilance to the gravity of the risk of money laundering, terrorism financing, or corruption. The law is divided into ten chapters covering a broad range of topics, including:

· the legal entities and individuals that fall under the scope of the law. The list now includes accountants, notaries, bailiffs, and attorneys;

· clients' identification and vigilance obligations;

· internal procedures to be followed by financial institutions and professionals to prevent money laundering, such as, for example, record keeping;

· the introduction of a €30,000 (about US$42,200) cap on cash payments;

· the definition of suspicious transactions and reporting requirements;

· the organization and powers of the Service d'Information et de Controle des Circuits Financiers (SICCFIN), Monaco's financial intelligence unit, and rules governing its cooperation with foreign financial units;

· the introduction of measures complying with FATF's Special Recommendation IX. This recommendation emphasizes the need to take measures to detect the physical cross-border transportation of currency and negotiable bearer instruments; and

· administrative and criminal penalties. (Id.)