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Car dealers to report to FIA money laundering

FILE PHOTO: Used cars in one of the car bonds in Kampala.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A proposal requiring car dealers to register with the Financial Intelligence Authority-FIA in the move to curb money laundering in the business is in the offing.

Section 21 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2013 mandates the FIA to register all accountable persons who are then obliged to submit reports in regards to the transactions they interact with and cases of suspected money laundering and terror financing.

The accounting persons undertake customer due diligence like getting the identity of the client, their representative capacity, assess their history and report the matter to FIA in case of suspicions to stop money laundering.

There are currently 15 accounting persons including financial institutions, brokers, dealer or investment advisor licensed under the Capital Markets Authority Act, insurance companies, Registrars of Companies, Registrars of Land, Uganda Investment Authority, Casinos, Real estate agents; Dealers in precious metals and gems among others.

However, a proposal is in the offing to include Car dealers.  Samuel Wandera, the Director International Relations at FIA, says in their own review, discussions and studies, they have established that launderers prefer to launder their proceeds in the motor vehicles industry.

He was speaking at a sensitization meeting between real estate’s dealers, Registrars, Ministry of Lands and FIA officials on money Laundering and terror financing at imperial royal.

Wandera says their proposal, which is yet to be presented to the Minister for approval, aims at looking at the source of money for people, who open car bonds and deal in cars for fear that they could be laundering money.

He says if the proposal goes through, all car dealers will be registered and required to report aspects of money laundering.

Wandera says that with the prevailing terror threats and high criminal activities like poaching, human trafficking and corruption among others, it is important that major institutions involved in trade or any form of transactions report regularly on huge amounts of money.

He says the other 15 accountable persons have responded well in reporting suspicious money and funds, which has helped Government to fight money laundering.

There is also a proposal to have virtual asset dealers like cryptocurrency report to FIA.

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