KUWAIT Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) on Tuesday emphasized its commitment to protect the stability of the banking and financial system against risks of money laundering.
However, the CBK said in a press release, it has no jurisdiction over supervising the online trading in currencies and precious metals which is the role of other state bodies.
The statement comes in response to allegations, circulated on some social media websites, that some celebrities are engaged in suspicious money laundering or fraudulent activities, including online trading in currencies and metals.
The legal system specified clearly the authority of the CBK to protect the financial and banking system and prevent the risks of money laundering, the statement said, citing Act 106 (2013).
The law and its executive statutes are in consistency with the international criterions relating to the combat against money laundering and financing for terrorism, it pointed out.
The law outlined the roles of the supervisory bodies and the responsibilities of each of them.
Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the CBK issued, in July 2013, directives to the banks and financial institutions in the State of Kuwait to tighten controls on any suspicious money laundering or terrorism financing activities.
These directives were updated in May 2019 in keeping with the developments in the relevant international standards, the statement added.
Banks should take measures to fully implement what is stated by law and constantly monitor all transactions, CBK added.
In the event of a suspected money laundering operation, banks must, according to law, address directly the Financial Investigations Unit, the body responsible for receiving and investigating this information, then reporting on it to Public Prosecution, if necessary.
In the meantime, the Central Bank is responsible for monitoring and supervising locally based banks in order to verify their commitment to the implementation of their requirements.
Through this inspection, if violations are unearthed, financial penalties of up to KD 500,000 (USD 1.6 billion) are applied along with administrative sanctions stipulated by law.
As for fraudulent transactions conducted via forex and gold trading platforms on the internet, the Central Bank clarifies that these companies are “not licensed and do not fall within its jurisdictions or regulatory role.” “Within the aforementioned legal system, freezing the accounts of these companies at local banks requires a decision by the judiciary.”
Source: Kuwait News Agency