15-year sentence and SR7 million fine for money laundering under new law in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia introduced a new Anti-Money Laundering Law on Saturday. Under the new law, the penalty for money laundering will be between three and 15 years imprisonment or a fine of up to SR7 million ($1.87 million). Those penalties can be combined if the accused was part of an organized gang or used violence during the crime; if the accused works in the public sector and exploited their job and/or power to commit the crime; or if the crime included human trafficking, the exploitation of a minor or a woman, or the use of a correctional, charitable or educational facility. The penalties will also be combined for repeat offenders. Saudi nationals imprisoned for money laundering will be banned from traveling once released for the same length of time as their prison term, while non-Saudis will be deported after completing their sentence and will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom again. A money laundering crime, according to the new law, includes conducting any transaction involving property or proceeds with the knowledge that they are the result of criminal activity or originate from an illegitimate source in order to disguise, protect or help that source or any other person involved in the original crime through which the property or proceeds were obtained. Money laundering also includes earning, keeping, or using any property or proceeds with the knowledge that they are the result of criminal activity or come from an illegal or illegitimate source, in addition to concealing or camouflaging the nature, source, movement, ownership, location, method of disposition, or associated rights of this property or proceeds with the knowledge that they are the result of criminal activity. The new law emphasizes that attempting to commit any of the previously mentioned acts, participating in any of the acts by agreement, providing assistance, incitement, counseling, guidance, advice, conspiring, collusion or concealment are all considered money-laundering crimes.