Consultants hails AML efforts

Manama, 16 November 2017

A leading consultant has hailed the efforts of two government ministries to step up the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, following new requirements from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment.

Dr Mukund Ballal, who leads Keypoint’s compliance team and has extensive anti-money laundering (AML), regulatory compliance and corporate governance experience, said that the measures taken by the ministries – stepping up AML activities for auditors, jewellers, car dealers and legal firms – were an important step in the fight against crime and would ensure Bahrain’s AML measures remain abreast with international standards. “AML and measures to combat the financing of terrorism are a key focus for both law-enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies,” explained Dr Ballal. “The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body, sets standards and issues AML guidelines. Bahrain is a MENA-FATF member and, in line with its reputation as a well-regulated financial centre, is committed to implementing FATF recommendations.”

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism issued order 173 of 2017, requiring auditors, jewellers and car dealers to introduce AML procedures. At the same time, the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment’s edict 64 of 2017 mandates foreign and domestic legal firms adopt AML measures. Businesses in these sectors are now required to have policies to identify clients, perform due diligence, monitor client activities, keep records and report suspicious activity - a well-established norm for financial institutions.  

Keypoint has provided business advisory services to numerous entities across a wide spectrum of industry sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain since 2006. Guruparan Kumarasamy, a director at Keypoint, added, “With our financial regulatory compliance offering, we support institutions seeking to develop or enhance their compliance frameworks. Dr Ballal’s team has developed a proven methodology and hands-on steps to help businesses comply with AML requirements.”

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