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Presidency defends excluding betting shops from money laundering bill

Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo is pleased with Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Bill  (Ley de Lavado de Activos y Financiamiento al Terrorismo) that passed in the Senate. The bill would enforce measures in the Dominican Republic that are now globally sanctioned under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF-GAFI).

In a press release, the Presidency reports Montalvo noted that betting shops and gambling operations, while excluded from the bill due to last minute amendments submitted by the Senate, will be supervised. He said any person or company can be prosecuted and sentenced for money laundering, including betting shop and gambling operation owners.

“The betting shop or lottery operating that launders money in the present law and in the new can be submitted to justice for money laundering,” he stated. He argued that what transpired in the reworking of the bill in the Senate was that because the betting shops and lotteries would not reach the threshold of managing transactions of US$3,000 or more as established by the FATF-GAFI standards.

Montalvo defended the legislation saying it represents important advances in pursuing white-collar crime. He said that the authorities will have expanded powers to prosecute cases of falsifying pharmaceuticals, environmental infractions, and tax fraud, among other crimes.  He noted that the new law would not offer protections to crimes committed by government officers.

The amendment proposed by PLD senator Charlie Mariotti has met with widespread criticism on grounds that betting shops are the business that moves the most cash in the Dominican Republic (conservatively estimated at RD$160 million a day) and will continue to be loosely regulated.

The bill now returns to the Chamber of Deputies for the approval of the amendment that excludes betting shops from the provisions.

Source: DR1, Presidencia

May 23, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 17, 2017 at 1:23 AM
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