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Don't Get Punished | by A.Davey
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Don't Get Punished

As a former general counsel for a bank, I have a nerdy interest in the official notices posted in banks. This notice is on the window of a currency exchange office.

 

It exhorts the reader implement systems to prevent money-laundering and the funding of terrorism system, lest there be sanctions for noncompliance.

 

With all the narco money in the Peruvian economy and the horrific Sendero Luminoso war of the 80s and 90s (referred to in Peru as the era of terrorism), this is probably appropriate.

 

I guess that in addition to having a compliance program, companies subject to these rules are required to post this notice to create public awareness of money-laundering prevention programs in the Peruvian economy.

 

I doubt American bank executives would be on board with broadcasting such a message in this manner. Bank windows are prime real estate for marketing material showcasing happy people in love with their bank's services, not government advisories about dire subjects.

 

Details:

 

"If you are a Supervised Entity under the supervision of the Unit of Financial Intelligence of Peru and have not designated a Compliance Officer or implemented a Prevention System, you are committing an infraction."

 

"Supervised Entities are natural persons or legal entities dedicated to construction and/or real estate, trade in jewelry, precious metals and stones, currency exchange, the purchase and sale of vehicles, the antiques or arts trade, lending and pawn, public auctioneers, among others."

 

"Penalties vary from an admonishment to penalties of 180,000 nuevos soles." (That's about $65,000 as of now.)

 

The laws do have a have a very wide scope. I've been out of touch with this field since retiring, but my impression is Peru's anti-money-laundering laws penetrate much deeper into the economy than do ours. Of course, having laws and regs on the books is not the same as compliance and enforcement.

 

I'd like to see a used car lot's anti-money-laundering compliance program . . . And I'd like to see how dealers in art and antiquities, fields that thrive on not asking nosy questions about your clients' affairs (other than obtaining iron-clad assurances of payment), go about complying with laws aimed at finding out the sources of customers' money.

 

Unless the maximum penalty of $65 grand is assessed on a per-occurrence basis, that amount might well be seen as a minor cost of doing business. Hopefully, at some point criminal penalties would kick in.

 

Arequipa, Peru

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Taken on June 30, 2013