Legislative and financial steps takenFighting money laundering crimes [Archives:2005/816/Business & Economy]

February 14 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Along with the rest of the Arab world, Yemen is continuing to fight money laundering.

But the battle is ongoing, according to specialists like legal expert Dr Akram Abdulrazzak al-Mashadani, who notes that money laundering is a crime resulting from other criminal activities.

Thus, money laundering is considered a crime used for finding an outlet for the criminals and to overcome the difficulty of dealing with outputs of their crimes like the drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, slave trading, financial corruption outputs and embezzlement.

International laws about money laundering are based on rules and terms of the UN agreement pertaining to fighting drugs. The justification of that is that drug activities are the source for dirty money due to their financial revenues.

Now studies indicate that activities of financial and administrative corruption in developing countries, especially by the influential persons and those in control, result in the creation of huge illegitimate wealth.

The modern development of technology, computer and internet, reveals that illegal money from those crimes is huge.

The republic of Yemen has taken important steps towards prevention of the crimes of money laundering. In 2003 it passed a law fighting money laundering.

A unit was formed in the Central Bank to specialize in combating money laundering.

In compliance of that law all banks working in Yemen have to commit themselves to not open accounts or preserving accounts for people of unknown identities or through correspondence.

The banks are also to verify identities of clients by depending on official documents.