Editorials

Back money laundering law

mps

MPs during a session at Parliament chambers. PHOTO | FILE

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • The proposed changes to the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2021, seeking to seal loopholes used for money laundering, means well for the country.
  • Individuals and firms have been exploiting a gap in the law that allows them to complete suspicious transactions.

The proposed changes to the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2021, seeking to seal loopholes used for money laundering, means well for the country.

Individuals and firms have been exploiting a gap in the law that allows them to complete suspicious transactions.

The changes will give the Central Bank’s Financial Reporting Centre powers to seize suspect property and freeze transactions for five days before investigations without requiring a court order.

Revising the law is critical as it will enable regulators and security agencies to stop economic crimes before they occur. We hope that Parliament will adopt it to enable Kenya to tighten controls on the circulation of dirty cash and terrorism financing.

It is in the country’s best interest to ensure compliance is robust as failure poses a risk to banking and national security, socio-economic development, and global peace.

But well-intentioned as it, the law risks abuse. The State should not use it to punish political opponents or businesspeople because of vested interests. It should not also offer selective immunity to some people.