Wellington July 25, 2018
Justice Minister Andrew Little has launched a public information campaign to raise awareness about the problem of money laundering by domestic and foreign criminals here in in New Zealand.
The following statement was issued by him:
The Keep Our Money Clean campaign is about keeping our international corruption-free reputation and making sure Kiwi businesses are informed and prepared.
The campaign starts on July 24, 2018 and uses print and digital advertising. It will run in four phases as new business sectors come under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act.
Keeping Corruption away
New Zealanders are rightly proud that our country is free from corruption.
To keep it that way, we need all Kiwi businesses to be vigilant so criminals with dirty money will not do us any harm.
Money launderers undermine our country’s financial and justice systems and leave us vulnerable to trans-national crime.
If the world loses confidence in us, our ability to protect our financial channels, our hard-won international financial and trade reputation will be at risk.
Keep Our Money Clean
The Government has prepared ‘Keep our Money Clean’ information packs for law practices, accounting business agents and real estate agents so that customers can understand the anti-money laundering requirements those businesses are required to uphold.
Some customers will be asked for extra information, such as identification, when they’re conducting business. That is how we will keep our country safe together.
About AMLC & CFTA
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act (2009) (AML/CFT) affects lawyers from July 2018, accountants from October 1, 2018, Real Estate Agents from January 1, 2019 and High Value Goods Dealers and the New Zealand Racing Board from August 1, 2019.
About Money Laundering
To put it simply, money laundering is a crime.
It is process criminals use to ‘clean’ the money they make from crimes such as fraud, dealing in illegal drugs and trafficking.
By making the money look like it comes from a legitimate source, they can cover their tracks and avoid detection.
Criminal organisations and people who finance terrorism target businesses and countries they believe have weak systems and controls that they can exploit.
Money laundering is happening every day across the country. It’s estimated that over $1 billion a year comes from drug dealing and fraud and can be laundered through New Zealand businesses.
However, the true cost and impact is many times that figure when you factor in all the crimes that generate ‘dirty’ money and the suffering they cause.
People who finance terrorism also use these methods to send money to violent causes and to disguise who is providing and receiving the money.
While the likelihood of terrorism financing is low, the potential consequences are significant.
Protecting New Zealand
Making it harder for criminals to launder money provides a significant disincentive to carrying out the criminal activity in the first place.
New Zealand has had Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism laws operating since 2013.
These laws applied to banks, casinos, financial institutions and some trust and company service providers.
We’re now extending these laws to include:
Lawyers, conveyancers, and trust and company service providers (from July 1, 2018)
Accountants and providers of accounting services (from October 1, 2018)
Real estate agents (from 1 January 2019)
Dealers in high value goods and the New Zealand Racing Board (from August 1, 2019)
Images from ‘Keep Our Money Clean’ Website