The Government will continue to strength its financial laws to deter money laundering and enhance its financial integrity, President William Ruto has said.
The President said a firm regulatory and administrative enforcement on the source and flow of illicit funds will effectively promote integrity and stability in our financial system, thereby spur economic growth.
He spoke Friday after holding a meeting Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the United States Brian Nelson at State House, Mombasa.
“Kenya will continue working with the U.S. Government to strengthen its laws and regulations on money laundering and financial terrorism,” said the Head of State.
Early this month, Cabinet approved the Anti-Money laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023 and mandated the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) to impose sanctions for violations of the proceeds of crime.
If enacted by Parliament, FRC, the anti-money laundering agency, will have the power to show the instances under which it might request for the revocation of a reporting institution’s license.
The amendments in the draft Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 are set to boost government’s efforts to combat money laundering and enhance Kenya’s financial integrity.
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 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.