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New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has welcomed the implementation of amended anti-money laundering regulations as likely to aid in its crackdown on abusive offshore arrangements and the so-called "hidden economy."
The rules, which entered into force this week, are designed to help law enforcement agencies detect and deter serious crimes, including tax evasion and fraud. They apply to a range of businesses classified as reporting entities, such as banks, other financial institutions, some financial advisors, and casinos.
These entities are required to check and verify customers' identities, assess the risks businesses face, adopt an anti-money laundering program, appoint a compliance officer, and report suspicious or unusual transactions.
The IRD's Manager of International Revenue Strategy, John Nash, explained: "There are a number of activities that may indicate that an individual or a business entity is laundering money. This may involve placing funds into children's bank accounts, personal accounts being used for business transactions, multiple transactions through bank accounts without reasonable explanations, and transactions both inwards and outwards with known offshore tax havens."
He added that the revised regulations will mean that extensive reporting and monitoring of transactions, especially where illegal tax evasion is suspected, are undertaken.
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