India Fighting Money Laundering
By Staff
The Government of India has decided to bring casinos, credit cards and moneychangers under the scope of its money laundering laws, giving it additional powers at preventing foreign currency from flowing into the country via illegitimate channels and making its way to terrorist groups.

The Union Cabinet gave its approval last week for the introduction of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill to Parliament, which would require financial intermediaries to report all suspected transactions involving international transfers to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). At present, only banks and other financial institutions are required to give details on suspicious transactions on a regular basis to the FIU under the Finance Ministry.

The Ministry has favoured the changes to the 2002 legislation as the Reserve Bank of India has control over only the nation’s banks while money transfer service providers operate without any controls. The Amendment would also enable the Government to meet certain domestic and international obligations.

'The Bill will give more teeth to the legislation with provisions for punitive action for money laundering,” said Priyaranjan Das Munshi, Information and Broadcasting Minister.

“The amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act are being made in line with the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body founded by G-7 countries to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.”

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