Anti-money laundering law lacks fairness?



This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed “Anti-money laundering regulations and fiscal laws-I” carried by the newspaper on Saturday. The writer, Syed Shabbar Zaidi, offers an expert’s perspective on the money-laundering issue. In his last write-up, he seems to have differed with the efficacy or fairness of country’s anti-money laundering law and other laws. He, for example, has pointed out, “The Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 (AML Act) has not defined the term AML. Nevertheless under Section 3 of the Act a person is taken to be involved in the offence of money laundering if he:

(a) Acquires, converts, possesses, uses or transfers, knowing or reasons to belief that such property is proceeds of crime;

(b) Conceals or disguises the true nature, origin, location, disposition, movement or ownership of property, knowing or reasons to believe that property is proceeds of crime;

(c) Holds or possesses on behalf of any other person any property knowing or having reason to believe that such property is proceed of crime; and

(d) Participates in, associates, conspires to commit, attempts to commit, aids, abets, facilitates, or counsels the commission of the acts specified in clauses (a), (b) or (c).”

No doubt, it is quite a wide definition. Our legislators are required to examine other countries’ laws, including India’s, with a view to injecting both clarity and fairness into our own laws in relation to the money-laundering issue.