Hefty penalty for fund­ing ter­ror­ism

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

THE Min­istry of Fi­nance this week tabled be­fore par­lia­ment a money-laun­der­ing and pro­ceeds of crime draft law propos­ing hefty fines of M25 mil­lion or 25 years in jail and M100 mil­lion for in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies con­victed of money laun­der­ing and fund­ing ter­ror­ism.

The Money-laun­der­ing and Pro­ceeds of Crime Amend­ment Bill 2016 seeks to en­sure the coun­try’s le­gal and in­sti­tu­tional frame- work is ca­pa­ble of im­ple­ment­ing mea­sures to fight money-laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing and com­ply with manda­tory in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

The Bill also seeks to provide the Le­sotho Rev­enue Author­ity, Direc­torate on Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Of­fences (DCEO) and Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vices with pow­ers to in­ves­ti­gate sus­pected money-laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing of­fences.

Pre­vi­ously, only the DCEO had the pow­ers to in­ves­ti­gate such cases.

Un­der the Le­sotho Pe­nal Code Act 2010, con­spir­acy to cause se­ri­ous in­tim­i­da­tion to the pop­u­la­tion, se­ri­ously desta­bil­is­ing or de­stroy­ing the fun­da­men­tal po­lit­i­cal, con­sti­tu­tional, eco­nomic or so­cial struc­tures of the coun­try, dam­age to gov­ern­ment or in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions’ prop­erty, and kid­nap­ping, are some of the crimes clas­si­fied as acts of ter­ror­ism.

Mean­while, the draft law fur­ther wants in­sti­tu­tions such as the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Unit, Cen­tral Bank of Le­sotho, Law So­ci­ety of Le­sotho, Le­sotho In­sti­tute of Ac­coun­tants to su­per­vise and mon­i­tor com­pli­ance of or­gan­i­sa­tions un­der their con­trol “with obli­ga­tions aris­ing out of the Money laun­der­ing and Pro­ceeds of Crime Act, its reg­u­la­tions and guide­lines and di­rec­tive made pur­suant to it”.

Money laun­der­ing is the generic term used to de­scribe the process by which crim­i­nals dis­guise the orig­i­nal own­er­ship and con­trol of pro­ceeds of crime by mak­ing them ap­pear to have come from a le­git­i­mate source.

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