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Trevor Manuel Issues Money Laundering Warning

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

22 October 2002


Speaking at the inaugural meeting of South Africa's new Money Laundering Advisory Council in Pretoria on Friday, Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel stated that the authorities 'will not tolerate' tax evasion or money laundering activities, citing the example of un-named 'small islands' which have turned a blind eye to such practices, but have eventually found themselves without a viable, sustainable, economic base.

Mr Manuel explained that the objectives of the Council - established under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act which came into effect earlier this year - should be to ensure that the country's regulatory regime does not allow any space for the money laundering industry, currently estimated to be handling between $5 million and $8 million per year, to operate.

'If we allow such space to open up, then we undermine our own efforts at creating conditions for sustainable growth,' he observed.

Under the new laws, according to the South African Finance Minister, personnel from sectors other than finance, for example, estate agents, casino workers, and car salesman will all be obliged to obtain certain identifying information before processing potentially suspect transactions.

The rules for financial service providers have also been tightened, with banks now obliged to keep detailed profiles of their clients, and to monitor accounts connected to 'unusual' transactions.

The government has allocated some R35 million to continuing the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, according to Mr Manuel.


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