The Kenyan government has approved a bill that aims to strengthen the country’s legal and policy framework to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Law (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was ratified by the Cabinet on Tuesday, following a recommendation from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body that sets global standards for preventing and detecting illicit financial flows.
The bill proposes to address the technical compliance deficiencies identified in Kenya’s second Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), which was published in 2021.
According to a Cabinet Despatch issued by the State House, the bill will introduce an improved framework for detecting and preventing money laundering activities within Kenya, including the supervision and enforcement of terrorism financing prevention measures, enhanced reporting of suspicious transactions, transparency of beneficial ownership, and combating crime financing and the flow of the proceeds of crime.
The Cabinet Despatch stated that the bill was in line with the government’s efforts to deepen transparency of the financial system while also safeguarding Kenya’s global competitiveness.
“The Amendment Bill proposes legal and policy reforms to address the technical compliance deficiencies identified in Kenya’s second Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Mutual Evaluation Report (MER),” the Cabinet Despatch read.
“Strengthening the country’s anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulations is in line with global standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body with the mandate to set global standards to promote the effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Proliferation Financing,” it added.
The bill will now be tabled in Parliament for debate and approval before it becomes law.