SUITE OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COUTNER -TERRORIST FINANCING LAWS
In complying with our international obligations, PNG passed a suite of laws of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Laws. These included:
- Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Act 2015
- United Nations Financial Sanctions Act 2015
- Criminal Code (Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2015
- Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2015
- Mutual Legal Assistance (Amendment) Act 2015
These suite of AML/CTF legislations are part of the reform on the AML/CTF system that is aligned with four strategic priorities of the government namely:
- Regional and Transnational Organized Crime- Targeting the profit motive of such crimes and hardening the PNG financial system against the laundering of proceeds from these crimes will help PNG combat transnational and organised crime;
- Anti-Corruption – A stronger preventative system will make it difficult for criminals to launder their money, increase detection of corruption and increasing money laundering and proceeds of crime cases will generate deterrence
- Security- The incorporation of a terrorist financing framework in PNG reduces the opportunities sought by terrorist organisations to use PNG as a conduit to shift money through the region
- Financial Stability- Ensuring that PNG has a robust financial system to ensure the sustainability of its economic growth.
For purposes of Terrorist Financing, the laws of concern are the Criminal Code 1974 and the United Nations Financial Sanctions Act 2015.
THE UNITED NATIONS FINANCIAL SANCTIONS ACT 2015
The key features of the Act include the following:
- Establishment of the Sanctions Secretariat within the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council ( PM&NEC) and distinguishes its role within the Department;
- Processes for implementing the UN sanctions as well as process for domestic designation;
- Offences and corresponding penalties for dealing with assets and making assets and financial services available to designated persons or entities;
- Processes for review and revocation of designations;
- Processes to seek authorisation to deal with frozen assets or making assets or financial services available to designated persons or entities.
Other aspects of the Act also provide information sharing and gathering, reporting, delegation of authority, specific protection measures and the power to make regulations.
The key features of the Act align with the objective of the Act as it aims to combat terrorist financing and Proliferation of Financing by:
- Deterring non-designated persons or entities who might be otherwise willing to finance terrorist activity;
- Exposing terrorist financing money trails that may uncover previously unknown terrorist cells and financiers;
- Preventing PNG from becoming a conduit for terrorist financing
- Dismantling terrorist financing networks by encouraging designated persons or entities to cut ties with terrorist groups forsaking any form of participation in terrorist activities;
- Making terrorists and developers of nuclear weapons become vulnerable to detection and disruption as they are forced to utilize other high risk means to finance their activities;
- Strengthening international cooperation and compliance with obligations under UNSCR’s 1267, 1373, 1718 and 1737
CRIMINAL CODE 1974
Amendments were made to the Criminal code to define and criminalise a terrorist act and terrorist financing. The amendments in the Criminal Code strengthen Papua New Guinea’s legislative framework on money laundering and terrorist financing in accordance with international law and corresponding international obligations that PNG has agreed to comply with.
The Criminal Code AML/CTF Amendment Act provides for the definitions of terrorist act and terrorist financing. It comprehensively criminalises money laundering and terrorist financing in terms of the scope of conduct that is required under international law.