08 October 2014
Precious stones and metal dealers to report cash transactions above SGD 20,000
Singapore will implement a cash transaction reporting regime for Precious Stones and Metals Dealers (PSMDs) with effect from 15 October 2014. The Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act was amended in Parliament in July 2014 to enable this reporting requirement. The new regime will help to reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing associated with transactions involving precious commodities.
2. PSMDs will now have to:
a. file a cash transaction report (CTR) with the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office of the Commercial Affairs Department within 15 business days when they conduct any cash transaction exceeding SGD 20,000, or its equivalent in foreign currency, which involves precious stones, metals or products;
b. determine the identity of the customer and enquire if the customer was acting on behalf of a third party and if so, determine the identity of the third party who owns the cash;
c. record the details of each cash transaction and maintain such records for a period of five years from the date of submission of the CTR; and
d. put in place internal controls to prevent the financing of terrorism and proliferation.
3. Precious stones and metals are portable, highly valuable, and can be easily bought and sold. These characteristics make it easier for criminals (including terrorists) to exploit them to launder their illicit funds. Criminals are also known to use funds obtained from their illegal activity to buy precious commodities and subsequently convert them back to cash. Such precious commodities could also be used directly to support criminal activities. The risk increases when the transaction is conducted in cash where it is more difficult to trace the origin of the funds.
4. Requiring PSMDs to report large cash transactions will reduce such risks and facilitate the detection, investigation, and prosecution of money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes. It is also in line with the international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering, and the financing of terrorism and proliferation.
5. PSMDs that fail to comply with the new cash transaction reporting requirement will be fined up to SGD 20,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to two years.
6. Please refer to CAD’s website1 for more information and updates.
(for combating money laundering and terrorist financing)
8 October 2014