KUWAIT CITY, Dec 25: In the first nine months of 2023, the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Department in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry conducted approximately 936 inspection visits to real estate, exchange, and jewelry companies, averaging four inspection rounds per day. During this period, the department made 372 field visits to real estate companies, 92 rounds on exchange companies, and 472 rounds on jewelry companies. Data from the Ministry of Commerce revealed that within nine months, the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Department suspended the activities of four companies, including a real estate company, two exchange companies, and a jewelry company.
Simultaneously, it lifted the suspension on the licenses of eight companies, consisting of two real estate companies, an exchange company, and five jewelry companies. Over the same period, the department blocked 27 websites, and the total number of transactions related to money laundering reached around 1.87 thousand transactions. This includes 1.28 thousand real estate transactions, 41 transactions for exchange companies, and 550 transactions for jewelry companies.
In total, the Anti-Money Laundering Department conducted 284 transactions within nine months, encompassing 1.65 thousand real estate transactions, 136 transactions for exchange companies, and 1.05 thousand jewelry transactions. In June, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry initiated a campaign using electronic platforms, particularly the Sahl application and e-mail, to raise awareness among local companies and commercial institutions about financial crimes.
The campaign included sending awareness messages to business practitioners to make them aware of the dangers of money laundering and terrorist financing, emphasizing the need to secure financial transactions and protect institutions from such risks. The inspection tasks carried out during the nine months were focused on ensuring compliance with the provisions of Law No. 106 of 2013 regarding combating money laundering and terrorist financing, Ministerial Resolution No. 37 of 2013, and Ministerial Resolution No. 431 of 2016. These tasks involved examining corporate documents, updating customer information, and inspecting transaction data and procedures. In late November, the Ministry of Commerce signed an agreement and memorandum of understanding with the Communications and Information Technology Commission to enhance the supervisory role of the Ministry in dealing with electronic risks related to combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and consumer protection. This agreement outlines the services provided by the Communications Authority related to blocking or unblocking social media accounts, websites, and electronic applications, specifying the responsibilities of all parties involved.
By Ahmad Fathi
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff
The post Kuwait suspends four companies in anti-money laundering efforts first appeared on ARAB TIMES – KUWAIT NEWS.
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