Some services provided by XXX are attractive to criminals wanting to launder the proceeds of crime and to finance terrorism.
There are some instances of legal professionals being directly involved in money laundering, however most lawyers who are exposed to it are not complicit.
The services offered by legal professionals that are vulnerable to money laundering activities relate to their involvement in financial transactions, such as money transfers, conveyancing, as well as, the establishment of legal entities to hold assets.
The drivers for bringing the XXX into the AML/CFT regime are to:
- Reduce the risk of businesses being unwittingly drawn into criminal activity
- Improve the ability to detect and investigate serious crimes such as drug offending and tax evasion, by following the money trail that such offences generate
- Help stop the ‘displacement effect’ where criminals move their funds to sectors outside of regulated sectors in a bid to avoid detection.
Some countries have already adopted AML/CFT laws, whilst others are in the process of implementing, measures to prevent the misuse of non-financial businesses and professions, including the legal profession.
The AML/CFT regime is risk based, which means that your responses to the AML/CFT obligations placed upon you should be risk-based. A risk-based AML/CFT regime requires that you understand and address the Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism (ML/FT) risks associated with legal services you offer and design, implement and maintain systems, procedures and controls that are proportionate to these risks.