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AML Law Amendment

Highlights

On 28 July 2022, the President ratified Law No. 154 of 2022 (the “Amendment”) amending the Anti-Money Laundering Law No. 80 of 2002 (“AML Law”). The Amendment was published on 28 July 2022 in the Official Gazette and entered into force on 29 July 2022.

Scope of Application

The main amendments and additions introduced under the Amendment tackle (a) the formation of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit (the “Unit”) and its members, (b) the introduction of a new definition relating to the ‘law enforcement authorities’ and their role, and (c) adding further statutory obligations on natural persons or legal entities addressed by the AML Law who might be in possession of funds or other assets relating to persons or entities mentioned on the United Nations Security Council (“UNSC”) lists on terrorist financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

Key provisions

The Amendment updated few provisions of the AML Law. The key updates include the following:

i.  The composition and participation at the Unit and deletion of Article (2) of Decree No. 164 of 2002 (the “2002 Decree”)

The Unit was already established under the AML Law and the President has previously issued the 2002 Decree addressing its composition, management system and statutes. The 2002 Decree stated under Article (2) that the Unit’s board of trustees shall be chaired by a judge with the rank of vice president of the Court of Cassation or an equivalent to this position chosen by the Minister of Justice. However, Article (2) has been deleted under the Amendment. According to the new Article (3) of the AML Law, the Unit is to be headed by a judicial expert whose experience is not less than fifteen years at the Court of Cassation or one of the Courts of Appeal. In addition, the Amendment stated that the Unit shall include a number of experts from the judiciary and specialists in AML-related areas.

ii.  Introduction of the law enforcement authorities’ definition

The Amendment introduced a new definition of the ‘law enforcement authorities’ being entities which statutory scope includes the carrying out of the combatting and investigation work, as well as collecting evidence in all crimes, including money laundering, terrorism financing and original crimes. Pursuant to the Amendment, law enforcement authorities shall undertake parallel financial investigations themselves or through other competent entities to determine the source of funds. Parallel financial investigations have been defined as investigations relating to the financial aspects of the crime, which strive to identify the criminal network, extent of the crime and identify and track the proceeds of the crime and terrorist property that are subject to confiscation. Parallel financial investigations also include the development of tools that may be utilized during criminal proceedings.

iii.  New obligation in relation to instructions issued in light of the UNSC resolutions relating to terrorist financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

The Amendment introduced a new requirement on natural persons and legal entities who might be in possession of funds or other assets relating to persons or entities listed on the UNSC lists on terrorist financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Precisely, such persons shall implement  instructions issued by the Unit in light of such UNSC resolutions and in application of Article (21) of the AML that addresses Egypt’s compliance with international treaties and instruments relating to anti-money laundry and terrorist financing. Such measures and, consequently, obligations include the refraining from providing financial services to these persons and entities and freezing of accounts. Failure to comply with this Article will bring about imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not less than EGP 100k.

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