An Act to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2013, to harmonise the definitions used in the Act; to provide for the carrying out of risk assessments by accountable persons; to provide for the identification of customers and clients of accountable persons; to provide for procedures relating to suspicious transactions; to harmonise the record-keeping requirements and exchange of information obligations with international practice and for related matters.
Major Highlights of the Act
- The Act provides for the identification of clients, customers, other persons and other anti-money laundering measures. Issues to do with maintaining the account in the real name of the account holder, carrying out due diligence measures, identifying and verifying the identity of the customer and beneficial owner before or during establishing a business relationship or conducting an occasional transaction, and cross-border correspondent banking and other similar relationships.
- The Act provides for risk assessment where a person shall take appropriate steps to identify, assess and monitor its money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
- The principal Act is amended to include record-keeping where an accountable person shall establish and maintain all necessary books and records relating to; the identity of a person obtained per customer due to diligence measures, to all transactions both domestic and international, carried out by it and correspondence relating to the transactions, all reports made to the Authority under this Act; including any accompanying documentation; and any enquiries relating to money laundering and financing of terrorism made by the Authority.
- The Act also provides for the protection of the identity of persons and information in suspicious transaction reports. It limits non-disclosure any information that will identify or is likely to identify; any person who has handled a transaction in respect of which a suspicious transaction report has been made, any person who has made a suspicious transaction report, and any information contained in a suspicious transaction report or information provided pursuant to the Act.
- The principal Act is amended to provide for cross border movements of currency and negotiable bearer instruments. It provides that a person; entering or leaving the territory of Uganda and carrying cash or bearer negotiable instruments exceeding one thousand five hundred currency points or the equivalent value in a foreign currency, arranging for the transfer of cash or bearer negotiable instruments exceeding one thousand five hundred currency points or the equivalent value in a foreign currency into or out of the territory of Uganda by mail, shipping service or any other means, shall declare that amount to the Uganda Revenue Authority in the manner prescribed by the Minister by regulations.
Despite these reforms in the existing law, Uganda still suffers from low money laundering combating ability and continues to be a high-risk theatre for money laundering.