Bullion, real estate, casinos also come under money laundering scrutiny

Published On: January 5, 2019 09:46 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Jan 5: The government has designated regulating agencies to prevent money laundering in gold, silver and expensive jewelry trading, real estate, casinos, companies, auditing firms, and retirement funds managed by private companies. These sectors are believed to be havens of massive money laundering activities. 

The government agencies will report susceptible transaction reporting (STR) to the Financial Information Unit, a central unit that examines and segregates STRs and forwards them to different agencies for further action. The agencies will also collect client reports from different sectors.

The FIU, which is based at Nepal Rastra Bank, is Nepal’s financial intelligence unit responsible for receiving, processing, and analyzing financial information and intelligence on suspected money laundering and terrorist financing activities. 

Inland Revenue Department has been assigned to monitor gold, silver and any expensive jewelry trading as well as retirement funds managed by different private companies. 

Land Revenue Office is to monitor the realty sector, while the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is to regulate casinos. Tourism Division under the Department of Tourism is the assigned regulator under the ministry. 

Gold and Silver traders also must keep records of the clients making transaction of above Rs 1 million a day, and also report to their regulator while casino operators have to report the tourism division on any persons gambling worth over Rs 200,000 per day in casinos. 

Any issues related to companies comes under the scanner of the Office of the Company Registrar for money laundering incidents, while the cases of money laundering in the auditing sector is regulated by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN). This means any auditors should inform their regulator on any susceptible transactions they notice during their jobs also and the ICAN has to report the same to the FIU. 

The cabinet decision of designation of these regulators was made about a month ago on the recommendation by National Coordination Committee led by secretary Rajan Khanal. The committee is a policy advisory body to the matter of money laundering issues. 

Yam Lal Bhusal, joint secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, said: “We are now working on the procedures and directives for different agencies designated for regulations of any money laundering.”

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