Russia's law against money-laundering enters into force

A federal law has entered into force today, January 3, to amend and supplement an acting law against money-laundering.

The updated law puts barriers to terror financing. The FATF-international organisation for financial monitoring-struck Russia off its black list with its passing.

Drafted by the financial monitoring committee of Russia's Finance Ministry, the amendments were offered to the State Duma by President Vladimir Putin. Parliament's lower house approved them, September 27, and the Federation Council, upper house, followed, October 16. The federal President signed the amendment bill, October 30, and it was made public, November 2, to enter into force two months later-today.

Legal arrangements to fight terrorist financing became more essential than ever after the American tragedy of September 11, 2001, members of Russia's two parliamentary houses emphatically said on repeated occasions.

The new law introduces compulsory capital and/or property monitoring in case of transactions whose one party-or both-whether private persons or corporate entities, are suspected of involvement in, or connection with extremist activities, points out Sergei Vassilyev, head of the Federation Council financial market committee.

It is up to the federal Cabinet to enlist related persons and organisations, establish criteria for such classification, and make respective notification of companies involved in money transactions.

The law extends a list of organisations bound to notify authorised bodies of financial transations. The list now includes corporate dealers in jewellery and precious metals and stones, managers of investment and nongovernment pension funds, horse-race betting offices, bookmakers and lottery offices.

Cash transactions involving loans, securities, movable property, etc., are liable to compulsory monitoring when amounting to, or exceeding 600,000 roubles (roughly, US$20,000) or equal sums in foreign currency.

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