The Financial Intelligence Centre Act aims to combat money laundering in particular by establishing a statutory body (Financial Intelligence Centre) and imposing a number of duties on certain institutions and professions (Accountable Institutions) such as attorneys, banks, public accountants, investment advisors and estate agents.
Certain of the duties imposed are:
– Proof of Identity
– Proof of Residential Address
Money laundering is a serious problem worldwide, involving vast sums of money. It has been a statutory offence for just over ten years in South Africa, but not much is known about the phenomenon and even less about the methods employed in South Africa to launder ill-gotten gains.
Contravention of the Act constitutes an offence for which stiff penalties are imposed, ie. 15 years imprisonment and fines up to R100 million can be imposed on accountable institutions that fail to comply with their duties under the Act.