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AML instruction manuals 15 August 2008

DHA Minister with AML manualINSTRUCTION manuals are being sent out to businesses that may be affected by recent changes to the Isle of Man’s anti-money laundering laws.

The comprehensive manual, to be distributed by the Department of Home Affairs, has been produced to reinforce awareness of people’s obligations and to provide practical support and guidance. It features a copy of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering) Code 2007, a registration/questionnaire, a suspicious transactions form, guidance notes, illustrations and an information leaflet.

The registration/questionnaire is particularly important and must be completed and returned to the Department by 5pm on September 26, 2008. The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering) Code 2007 replaced the previous Anti-Money Laundering Code 1998 in September last year and affects many additional local businesses.

The legislation has been introduced to ensure the Isle of Man complies with international standards and plays its part in the worldwide fight against crime and terrorism. The main thrust of the new law is that it extends to any business dealing in goods which accepts cash payments of 15,000 euros or more – or the equivalent in any currency including sterling. Consequently, individuals working in businesses such as car dealerships, jewellers, estate agents and auction houses will receive an instruction manual to remind them of their obligations.

Minister for Home Affairs Adrian Earnshaw MHK said: ‘It is crucial that all Island businesses are aware of their responsibilities. Those in the finance sector have been required to comply with anti-money laundering legislation for some time, but recent changes mean that many more businesses are affected. I would urge everybody who receives one of these manuals to study the information to ensure they are fully conversant with the provisions of the Code. The Department is most grateful for the co-operation of the local business community in this important matter which will help to protect the Island’s international reputation.’

The instruction manuals are the latest part of an extensive publicity campaign co-ordinated by the Department of Home Affairs, the Financial Supervision Commission and Isle of Man Customs and Excise. Efforts to highlight the change in legislation have so far included news items and media advertisements, displays at the sea terminal and airport, free seminars, website pages, information leaflets and direct mailshots.

Julian Lalor-Smith, Director of Administration and Legislation at the Department of Home Affairs, said:

‘The important message is that anybody dealing in goods who accepts cash payments of 15,000 euros or equivalent is subject to this law and failure to comply is a serious criminal offence.’

In the first instance, businesses are urged to complete and return the registration/questionnaire contained in the instruction manual. This will help to identify to what extent individual businesses are required to comply with the anti-money laundering provisions. The information gathered will also be used to establish a register of businesses that do or do not accept cash payments of 15,000 euros or more.

Mr Lalor-Smith added:

‘The instruction manuals should be studied carefully as they provide helpful guidance on how to introduce practices that will avoid breaches of the Code from occurring.’

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