President Kenyatta signs tough law to curb money laundering

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill 2017, a tough legislation aimed at combating economic crimes.

“This is a major tool in our sustained efforts to fight corruption. It means that no proceeds of theft and corruption are beyond the reach of the State,” President Kenyatta said.

The amended legislation introduces fresh measures on punishment for economic crimes.

In addition to the identification, tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime, the new law imposes stiff penalty on culprits.

It recommends that a person who fails to comply with it will be liable to a monetary penalty not exceeding Sh5 million while the penalty for a corporate body will not exceed Sh25 million.

The amended law adds that in the case of continued failure, the person or reporting institution shall be liable to an additional monetary penalty of Sh10 million per day, on which such failure continues for a maximum period of 180 days.

The new legislation also formalises the establishment of the Assets Recovery Agency, which will handle all cases of recovery of the proceeds of crime or benefits accruing from money laundering.

President Kenyatta also signed into law the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2017.

The Supplementary Appropriation Act authorises the release of Sh46.2 billion from the Consolidated Fund for use by the Government to fulfill its financial obligations for the remaining part of the financial year, which ends on June 30.

Deputy President William Ruto, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, House Majority Leader Aden Duale and Solicitor General Njee Muturi witnessed the signing of the two Bills that were presented to the President at State House, Nairobi, by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

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