Costa Rica: Implications of the Money Laundering Law Reform

The amendment to the money laundering law approved in the first debate requires accountants, lawyers and real estate agents to report suspicious transactions made by their clients.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bill 19.951 reforming the Law on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs of Unauthorized Use, Related Activities, Legalization of Capital and Financing of Terrorism was approved in a first debate by the Legislature on April 21. The new regulation establishes the obligations on professionals engaged in non-financial activities, such as lawyers, accountants, notaries and real estate agents, once the law is fully approved and enacted.

Nacion.com reports that "...Specifically, the legal initiative obliges liberal professionals and merchants to maintain "know their client" policies, register with the Superintendency of Financial Entities (Sugef) and, with the criteria established in the law, report to the National Council For the Supervision of the Financial System (Conassif) any operations suspected as being laundering or financing for terrorism."

The statement by the Legislative Assembly details:

"... According to the initiative for the purpose of combating the legitimacy of capital, financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the following activities will be subject to this law:   

A) Systematic or substantial operations of exchange of money and transfers, through instruments such as checks, bank drafts, bills of exchange or similar.  
B) Systematic or substantial operations of emission, sale, rescue or transfer of traveler's checks or money orders.  
(C) Substantial systematic transfers of funds, by any means. D) Administration of trusts or any type of management of resources, carried out by persons, physical or legal, who are not financial intermediaries. E) Remittances of money from one country to another.  
F) Credit card issuers, as well as credit card operators, when carrying out these activities under the parameters and definitions determined by the National Financial System Supervision Board, at the proposal of the Superintendency of Financial Institutions.

More on this topic

Costa Rica: The New Law Against Money Laundering

May 2017

Once enacted, the newly approved law will force accountants, lawyers, realtors, and other professionals to report suspicious transactions made by their clients.

Bill 19.951 reforming the Law on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs of Unauthorized Use, Related Activities, Legalization of Capital and Financing of Terrorism was approved in a second debate by the Legislative Assembly.  

Honduras: Supervision of Non-Financial Corporations

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In May, approval could be given to the regulation of the law that obliges real estate agents, pawn shops and lawyers, among others, to report suspicious operations of more than $10,000.

The socialization process of the regulation of the Law for the regulation of designated non-financial professional activities (APNFD) has already ended, and Congress estimates that next month it could be approved.

Costa Rica a Little Further Away from Greylisting

July 2016

A law passed by the Assembly requires banks to require companies to show tax returns for the last two years and close accounts suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The 8204 amendment to the Law adopted by the Assembly of Costa Rica also requires banks to refuse to open accounts for companies who are not able to justify the origin of their resources.

Guatemala: Anti Laundering Controls Include Public Money

November 2013

The regulations of the Law Against Money Laundering affect, among other people, those who receive, manage or run state funds.

The provision, which comes into force on November 26, states that entities such as cooperatives, accountants and auditors must also comply with the obligations under the law.


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