The Cabinet has approved the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023.
In a statement issued on Friday, State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed, said that the amendment will boost government’s efforts to combat money laundering and enhance Kenya’s financial integrity.
“As a progressive member of the Community of Nations, Kenya acknowledges that money laundering poses a significant risk to the integrity of the financial system and the country’s overall security,” the statement reads in part.
The proposed amendments seek to review all existing laws related to anti-money laundering, and anti-terrorism financing to ensure efficient detection and prevention of money laundering activities in Kenya.
“The proposed amendments introduce several measures to detect and prevent money laundering activities in Kenya, including the supervision and enforcement of terrorism financing, reporting of suspicious transactions, transparency of beneficial ownership and combating terrorism financing,” said Mohamed.
The amendments include supervising and enforcing terrorism financing, reporting suspicious transactions, transparency of beneficial ownership, and combating terrorism financing.
According to the bill, financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses will be required to conduct thorough verification of their customers.
The bill also seeks to enhance customer due diligence, strengthen reporting obligations, expand scope and coverage, as well as increasing penalties and deterrents.
These measures will help prevent the risk of anonymous transactions and ensure transparency in financial dealings.
Further, the amendments introduce stricter penalties for individuals and entities guilty of money laundering offences which includes higher fines and extended prison terms expected to be strong deterrents against illicit financial activities.
“Kenya aims to safeguard its global competitiveness, foster the development of its economy by attracting ethical foreign investment, and deepen transparency within the financial system,” Mohamed said.