Focus on laws to combat money-laundering

Muscat, Oct 3 – A self-assessment programme on anti-money laundering systems was organised on Tuesday by the Ministry of Social Development with the aim of training the cadre working in related fields.
The programme was held in cooperation with the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism (NCCMLFT).
It targeted 50 employees, including officials from charity and women’s associations, minority clubs, legal workers, auditors and social departments from different wilayats.
Sayyied Marwan bin Turkey al Said, a member of NCCMLFT, dwelt on locating/evaluating risks, collecting data, obstacles, assessment of results, analysis and generating reports.
Sheikh Sulaiman al Marjabi, Acting DG of Public Prosecution in Buraimi, focused on money-laundering and laws against financing terrorism.
Al Marjibi said the law includes board members, executive officers and workers of non-profitable associations who “wilfully spend” donations for personal use or misuse them.
“Whoever does so will be imprisoned for two to six years and fined RO 10,000 to RO 100,000. Penalty is doubled if the accused is proved to have used his authority for this purpose,” he said.
Salim al Yahmadi, Assistant Director of Department of Associations and Clubs, highlighted the laws that protect associations from these crimes.
“The government is conscious of the dangers of money-laundering and terrorism gangs. We are keen to protect associations by laying down legislations that put an end to any kind of transactions with external and anonymous sources unless approved by the ministry,” he said.
According to Article (5) item (b) of Civil Associations Law, foreign societies cannot open branches inside the Sultanate.
Associations are prohibited from enrolling or joining any external counterparts unless approval is obtained from the minister.
The same Article interdicts sending external aid unless through Omani Charitable Organisation. Article (42) states that associations are also banned from receiving/ giving money to foreign individuals/ entities unless approval is obtained.

Zainab al Nassri