Monaco adopts new rules against money-laundering

25th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Under the new rules, insurers, accountants, notarial firms, high-end traders and lawyers helping with property or financial transactions will all be asked to carry out checks on their clients.

Monaco -- Monaco's luxury stores will have to run checks on the super-rich and casinos will face tougher inspections under new rules to fight money-laundering in the Riviera principality, officials said Friday.

Playground for the rich and famous, the microstate adopted a new law on money-laundering late on Thursday as part of a drive to clean up its financial sector in line with international standards.

Under the new rules, insurers, accountants, notarial firms, high-end traders and lawyers helping with property or financial transactions will all be asked to carry out checks on their clients.

The law also introduces a new 30,000-euro (47,000-dollar) cap on cash payments, and boosts the powers of the state financial investigator, SICCFIN, in particular to monitor casinos and financial organisations.

Monaco's finance minister Sophie Thevenoux told AFP the law, the result of tough negotiations with the business world, also pulls together under a single set of rules the steps taken over the years to tackle money-laundering.

It follows a series of recommendations made by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Council of Europe's anti-laundering body, MONEYVAL, Thevenoux said.

Removed from an OECD blacklist of financial centres in April, Monaco is also working to shed its image as an international tax haven. It remains on a Group of 20 "grey list", but hopes to leave that too by the end of the year.

The principality plans to launch a major public relations campaign next year, promoting a new, financially transparent, image.

Monaco was placed in the middle of a three-tier list categorising tax havens and financial centres by their degree of cooperation with international authorities which was endorsed by G20 leaders in April.

It was listed by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development as a jurisdiction that had adopted OECD standards on exchanging tax information but had not yet substantially implemented them.

AFP/Expatica

0 Comments To This Article