Overview of The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009
The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, 2009 received presidential assents on the 31st December, 2009 hence making it law. This law is the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-money Laundering Act, 2009 (the “Act”).
The Act is set to commence by notice but in any event not later than six (6) months from the date of its assent. The Act seeks to create a comprehensive legislative framework to combat the offence of money-laundering in Kenya and to provide for the identification, tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime among other things.
Anti-Money laundering legislation has come a long way since its inception in 2007. The government had published a bill in 2007 and another in 2008, none of which were passed into law during the years they were published.
Before the enactment of the Act, money laundering legislation in Kenya was weak and fragmented. Money laundering was primarily being dealt with under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, 1994 (the “Narcotics Act”) which only dealt with proceeds of drug trafficking and the Central Bank of Kenya Guideline on Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering (Prevention)(the “CBK Guideline”) which only applies to banking institutions licensed under the Banking Act.
The Act, which repeals the anti-money laundering provision in the Narcotics Act, applies to all persons whether individual or corporate and to the proceeds from any criminal activity. The CBK Guideline however continues in force and banking and financial institutions will therefore be required to comply with both the Act and the CBK Guideline.