- Law No. (54) of 2006
- Law No. (25) of 2013
- Legislative Decree No. (36) of 2017
- Legislative Decree No. (57) of 2018
- As per Law No. (54) of 2006, the phrase “Minister of Justice” found under paragraph (6) of Article (8) is substituted by “Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs” and the phrase “Public Prosecution” is substituted by “the Investigation Judge” where found under the provisions of the Law.
- As per Law No. (54) of 2006, the phrase “terrorism financing” was inserted after the phrase “money laundering” wherever it appears in the Law, except when referenced under paragraphs (1), (3), (4) and (5) of Article (2), paragraph (2) of Article (3) and Paragraphs (4) and (5) of Article (4) of the Law.
- As per Legislative Decree No. (57) of 2018, the phrase “Minister of Finance” found under Article (5) bisis substituted by “The competent Minister of Customs Affairs”. The phrase “Minister of Finance” found under Articles (4) and (12)is substituted by “Minister of Interior”
LEGISLATIVE DECREE NO.4 OF 2001
PREVENTION AND PROHIBITION
OF MONEY LAUNDERING LAW AND TERRORISM FINANCE
We Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Amir of the State of Bahrain
- Having reviewed the Constitution,
- And Amiri Order No. 4 of 1975,
- And the Criminal Procedure Code of 1966, as amended,
- And the Bahrain Monetary Agency Law promulgated by Decree Law No. 23 of 1973, as amended,
- And the Commercial Companies Law promulgated by Decree Law No. 28 of 1975, as amended,
- And the Penal Code promulgated by Decree Law No. 15 of 1976, as amended,
- And the Bahrain Stock Exchange Law promulgated by Decree Law No. 4 of 1987,
- And the Law of Commerce promulgated by Decree Law No. 7 of 1987, as amended,
- And the Insurance Companies and Organisations Law promulgated by Decree Law No. 17 of 1987, as amended by Decree Law No. 35 of 1996,
- And Decree No. 17 of 1989 on the Ratification of United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988,
- And Decree No. 9 of 1995 on the Ratification of the Arab Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances,
- And upon the submission of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance & National Economy, and
- After the approval of the Council of Ministers,
HAVE HEREBY ENACTED THE FOLLOWING LAW:
"As amended by Law No. (54) of 2006 and Legislative Decree No. (57) of 2018”
In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Court” means the High Criminal Court.
“Criminal Activity” means any activity which is a crime whether in the State of Bahrain or in any other State.
“Enforcement Unit” means the Unit empowered to implement the provisions of this Law as defined in paragraph 4 of Article (4).
“Institution” means any natural person, body corporate or other entity constituted or recognised under the laws of Bahrain whose occupation or business includes the carrying out of any of the activities listed in the Schedule to this Law.
“Relevant Entities” means Ministries and Government entities whichlicence, supervise and regulate institutions.
“Proceeds of Crime” means property which is derived directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from any criminal activity.
“Property” means property of every kind, nature and description, whether movable or immovable, tangible or intangible and shall, for instance, include:
- Any currency, national or foreign, bills, securities, bonds, negotiable instruments or any instrument capable of being negotiable including those payable to bearer or endorsed payable to bearer;
- Cash or currency deposits or accounts with any bank, credit or other financial institutions;
- Works of art, jewelry, precious metals and other items of value;
- Land, property and any rights attached thereto; and
- Anything or object, used in money laundering and terrorism financing.
“Transaction” means any disposition of property including but not limited to purchase, sale, loan, pledge, gift, transfer, delivery, deposit, withdrawal, transfer between accounts, exchange of currency, loan, extension of credit, purchase or sale of any stock, bond, certificate of deposit, or use of a safe deposit box.
“Transaction Record” includes:
- The identification records of persons who are a party to that transaction;
- Details of the transaction including institutions which conducted it;
- Details of any account used for the transaction.
“Terrorism” Any act of violence or threat thereof, notwithstanding its motives or intentions, perpetrated to carry out an individual or collective criminal plan with the aim of terrorizing people or threatening to harm them or imperiling their lives, honour, freedoms, security or rights or exposing the environment or any facility or public or private property to hazards or occupying or seizing them, or endangering a national resource, or international facilities, or threatening the stability, territorial integrity, political unity or sovereignty of independent States.
“Illegal Cross-Border Transportation of Funds” A criminal act perpetrated by any natural or corporate person by any method whatsoever, whether direct or indirect, by transporting funds across international borders if they are not disclosed, in violation of the disclosure regulation or where such transportation is for the purpose of money laundering or the terrorism financing.
Offence Of Money Laundering And Terrorism Finance
"As amended by Law No. (4) of 2001”
“As amended by Law No. (25) of 2013"
- Laundering funds generated from the following crimes, whether such crimes are perpetrated inside the Kingdom or outside it, shall be prohibited:
- Crimes of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
- Crimes of kidnapping and piracy;
- Crimes of terrorism and financing it;
- Crimes related to the protection of environment and hazardous waste;
- Crimes related to explosives, arms and ammunitions;
- Crimes of bribery, embezzlement and detriment to public properties and the exploitation of position or influence and unlawful gain;
- Crimes of theft, and its equivalent, fraud, breach of trust and related crimes;
- Crimes of immorality and prostitution;
- Crimes of trespass against intellectual property;
- Crimes of tax evasion (customs fees);
- Crimes of providing financial services in contravention of the legally prescribed rules, and the crimes of persons who have access of insider information and crimes related to market information;
- Crimes of trafficking in persons;
- Crimes of trafficking in antiquities; and
- Any other crimes provided for in Bahrain’s Penal Code, or any of the other laws and the crimes set forth in international conventions and protocols attached thereto, which the Kingdom of Bahrain is a party thereto, when they are punishable by Bahrain’s law.
- Anyone who commits any of the following acts which would show that the source of such funds is legitimate shall be considered a perpetrator of a money laundering crime:
- conducting any transaction related to crime proceeds, knowing, believing or making one believe that they are generated from one of the crimes provided for under Paragraph (2-1) or from any act which is considered a participation in it.
- concealing the nature of crime proceeds or their source, whereabouts or method of disposing thereof or the movement or ownership thereof, or any right related thereto, knowing, believing or making one believe that they are generated from one of the crimes provided for in Paragraph (2-1) or from any act which is considered a participation in it.
- Earning, receiving or transporting crime proceeds, knowing, believing or making one believe that they are generated from one of the crimes provided for in Paragraph (2-1) or from any act which is considered a participation in it.
- Keeping crime proceeds or possessing them, knowing, believing or making one believe that they are generated from one of the crimes provided for in Paragraph (2-1) or from any act which is considered a participation in it.
- Any of the following acts shall be deemed to be an act of participation in the offence of money laundering and terrorism financing:
- Destruction, misappropriation, concealment or forgery or any document which could be used as evidence in the offence or against the accused;
- Knowledge of the intent of any person who commits the offence, and provision of any facilities or information which may assist such person to conceal the offence or escape from prosecution.
- A person can be punished for the offence of money laundering under this Law even if he is not convicted in the underlying criminal activity. In this context, "underlying criminal activity" refers to criminal activity from which the property which is involved in a money laundering offence has been directly or indirectly derived.
- A person can be separately charged and convicted of both a money laundering offence under this Law and of an offence constituted by an underlying criminal activity from which the property or the proceeds, in respect of which he is charged with money laundering, were derived.
- Where an offence of money laundering is committed by a corporate body, every person who, at the time of the commission of the offence, acted in an official capacity for or on behalf of such body, shall be guilty of that offence if the offence was committed by the intentional conduct or gross negligence of such person.
- Offences related to the offence of money laundering and terrorism financing. A person who commits any of the following acts shall have committed an offence related to money laundering and terrorism financing:
- Failure to disclose to the Enforcement Unit any information or suspicion acquired in the course of that person’s trade, business, profession, employment or otherwise regarding the offence of money laundering and terrorism financing;
- Failure or refusal to follow or obstruction or hindering of any order issued by the Enforcement Unit or issued at its request by the Public Prosecution pursuant to investigation of the offence of money laundering and terrorism financing;
- Disclosure of any information or suspicion acquired in the course of that person’s, trade, business, profession, employment or otherwise regarding the issue of an investigation order or attachment order in a money laundering and terrorism financing offences, where such disclosure is likely to prejudice the investigation.
"As amended by Law No. (54) of 2006”
“As amended by Law No. (25) of 2013"
“As amended by Law No. (36) of 2017”
- A penalty of life imprisonment or a prison sentence which is not less than 10 years and a fine of not less than BD100,000 and not more than BD500,000 shall be inflicted upon everyone who raises, gives or appropriates properties, funds or their proceeds to a society, group, organization, association or gang that engages in a terrorist activity which is based inside or outside the country or to one of its members or carries out for its benefit any operation or provides support or finance by any means, knowing that it engages in a terrorist activity.
The same penalty shall be inflicted upon everyone who receives directly or by way of mediation, in any manner whatsoever, properties or funds of any kind from any of these parties for the purpose of preserving them or exploiting them for their benefit.
Attempting to commit any of the crimes provided for in the preceding two paragraphs shall be punishable by the same penalty prescribed for a full crime.
- Any person committing, attempting or participating in a money laundering offence shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven (7) years and a fine not exceeding Bahrain Dinars One Million (BD 1,000,000/-). The punishment shall be imprisonment for a period of not less than five (5) years and fine of not less than Bahrain Dinars One Hundred Thousand (BD 100,000/-) in any of the following cases:
- The accused has committed the offence through an organised criminal gang;
- The accused has committed the offence by using his power or influence through an institution;
- The accused has committed the offence for the purpose of disguising the source of the proceeds which are derived from criminal activity to appear as of a lawful source.
- Without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties, everyone who has perpetrated one of the money laundering crimes shall be punishable by, in addition to the prescribed property, confiscation of the funds subject of the crime or any funds owned by it equal in value to the funds subject of the offense.
The judge shall rule the seizure of the funds once the criminal case is extinguished due to the accused’s demise for which evidence has been established that they have been generated from the crime.
- In cases where the offence of money laundering and terrorism financing is committed by a corporate body and notwithstanding the liability of any natural person, the corporate body shall be liable to the punishment of a fine prescribed in this Law in addition to confiscation of the property which is the subject matter of the offence.
- Any person who commits any of the offences related to money laundering and terrorism financing shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two (2) years and/or a fine not exceeding Bahrain Dinars Fifty Thousand (BD 50,000/-) or both.
- Any person who contravenes the provisions of Regulations and Ministerial Regulations issued under this Law shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three (3) months or a fine not exceeding Bahrain Dinars Twenty Thousand (BD 20,000/-) or both.
- The provisions relating to extinction of criminal proceedings and prescription and limitation of punishments under the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other Law, shall not affect the punishments prescribed under this Law.
- Any of the accused that report a money laundering and terrorism financing offence to the Enforcement Unit before such offence is known to the Enforcement Unit shall be exempted from the punishment prescribed under this Law.Where the accused reports the offence after it is known to the Enforcement Unit, his report shall lead to arrest or the other accused persons and attachment of property.
The Policy Committee For The Prevention And Prohibition
Of Money Laundering And Terrorism Finance
"As amended by Law No. (54) of 2006"
- The Minister of Interior shall in co-ordination with the relevant entities appoint a policy committee for the prevention and prohibition of money laundering and terrorism financing.
- The Committee shall in particular exercise the following powers:
- Formulate policies and procedures to regulate the business of the Committee;
- Establish general policies with regard to the prevention and prohibition of money laundering and terrorism financing;
- In co-ordination with the relevant entities, issue guidelines on the reporting of suspicious transactions;
- Study regional and international developments in the field of money laundering and terrorism financingfor the purpose of recommending updates to the guidelines and changes to the Law when necessary;
- Co-ordinating with the relevant authorities for the purpose of implementation of the United Nations Convention for Combating Illicit Trade in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Arab Convention for Combating Illicit Trade in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the its two supplementary protocols, and such other relevant conventions, charters, regulations and resolutions in force, and observing the recommendations which are issued by the Financial Action Task Force for Anti-Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism.
- The Committee in discharging its functions may seek the assistance of such entities as it may determine necessary.
- The Minister of Interior shall appoint the Enforcement Unit, which shall have the following powers:
- Receipt of reports on money laundering and terrorism financing and the illegal cross-border transportation of funds offences and related offences;
- Adopting measures of investigation and collection of inferences in crimes of money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit cross-border transportation of funds and related crimes;
- Implementing procedures relating to international co-operation under the provisions of this Law;
- Execution of decisions, orders and decrees issued by the competent courts in money laundering and terrorism financing and the illegal cross-border transportation of funds offences and related offences.
- The relevant entities shall in co-ordination with the Enforcement Unit issue instructions on procedures to prevent and prohibit money laundering and terrorism financing and the illegal cross-border transportation of funds including the following:
- Regular reports from institutions on suspicious transactions;
- Institutions reporting on suspicious transactions;
- Institutions establishing the identity of the customers and the beneficiaries of customers and verification of that identity;
- Internal reporting requirements of institutions.
An institution shall:
- Keep for a period of five (5) years after the relationship has ended a copy of the evidence of identity of each client as may be provided for in the regulations made pursuant to this Law;
- Keep a transaction record of any new or unrelated transaction for a period of five (5) years after the termination of the transaction so recorded;
- Report to the Enforcement Unit and the relevant entities any transactions suspected by the relevant officer by reason of the identity of the persons involved, the nature of the transaction or any other circumstances;
- Provide the Enforcement Unit with such further information or assistance as the Enforcement Unit may request;
- Comply with the instructions of the relevant entities regarding developing and applying internal policies, procedures and controls including the designation of compliance officers at management level to combat money laundering and terrorism financing and develop audit functions to evaluate such policies, procedures and controls;
- Co-operate with any Government entity including the Enforcement Unit;
- Develop and apply a procedure to audit compliance with the provisions of this Article; Not open or keep any secret, fictitious, or anonymous accounts.
Article (5) bis.
"As added by Law No. (54) of 2006"
Entering funds into the state or taking them out of it is guaranteed for all passengers according to the law, and the competent Minister of Customs Affairs may decide by an order the maximum amounts of funds which are allowed to be entered into the state or taken out of it without the need for disclosing them. Any amount in excess of the maximum, in case an order is issued fixing it, shall be subject to the disclosure regulation which is issued by an order of the competent Minister of Customs Affairs upon a proposal of the committee for drawing up policies for the prohibition and combating money laundering and the terrorism financing.
- Where the Enforcement Unit has evidence that a person has committed or attempted or participated in committing a money laundering and terrorism financing offence, it may obtain an order issued by the Public Prosecution authorising any of the following actions:
- Requiring the accused or any other natural or corporate person to deliver up any documents or records or papers or to provide any information which is requisite for the investigation;
- Entry into public or private premises for the attachment of any documents, records, papers or objects which are requisite for the investigation;
- Attachment and freezing of any property which is subject to confiscation in accordance with the provisions of this Law;
- Prohibition of the transfer of such property.
- The Enforcement Unit may order the attachment of the property related to the offence in order to prevent its disposal, provided that the Public Prosecution shall be notified within three (3) days of the issue of the said order.
Any interested party may appeal to the competent Court from any order issued pursuant to the preceding paragraph within fifteen (15) days of the date of issue of the order. The ruling of the Court in the appeal shall be final until the criminal case is adjudged or disposed of.
Secrecy Of Accounts And Records
On the coming into force of the provisions of this Law, no institution can plead before the Public Prosecution or the competent Court, secrecy or confidentiality in respect of accounts, identification of customers or record keeping provided under the provisions of any Law.
Request Of Assistance From Foreign States
- Where a foreign State makes a request for specific information relating to suspicious transactions, persons and corporations involved in those transactions or the investigation or prosecution of a money laundering and terrorism financing offence, the Enforcement Unit shall execute the request or inform the foreign State making the request of any reason for not executing the request forthwith or of any delay in the execution of the request.
- The Enforcement Unit, in response to a request from a foreign State, may obtain from the Public Prosecution an order for the following:
- A warrant to search any premises or persons for attachment of any document, material or thing;
- Any document or object relevant to identifying, locating or quantifying any property or identifying or locating any document necessary for the transfer of any property in either case belonging to, in the possession of or under the control of any person the subject of the request be delivered to the Enforcement Unit in addition to information relating to any transaction conducted by or for such person during such period as the Public Prosecution directs;
- Attachment of any property of or in the possession of any person named in the request for the period specified in the order, and the management or disposal of that property for the purpose of determining any dispute as to the ownership of or other interest in the property or any part thereof, and payment of any costs.
- The Enforcement Unit may, upon request from a foreign State accompanied by an order issued by a court of the requesting State directed to any person within the jurisdiction of Bahrain to deliver himself or any document or material in his possession or under his control to the foreign State, for the purposes of conducting investigations in that State, obtain a Court order directed to that person in the same terms as in the order accompanying the request.
- The Public Prosecution shall take the evidence of the person referred to in the foregoing paragraph of this Article, and the Enforcement Unit shall transmit the record of such evidence to the foreign State.
- The Enforcement Unit may, in respect of any proceedings for a money laundering and terrorism financing offence, obtain an order from the Public Prosecution to any person resident in a foreign State to deliver himself or any document or thing in his possession or control, to the Public Prosecution or, subject to the approval of the foreign State, to the competent court in that State.
- The Minister of Justice may order that the whole or any part of any property confiscated under the provisions of this Law, be given to or shared with a foreign State.
Exchange Of Information
- The Enforcement Unit and the relevant entities in the State of Bahrain may exchange information of a general nature regarding the offence of money laundering and terrorism financing with competent authorities in foreign States.
- The Enforcement Unit shall in response to a reasonable request from a competent authority in a foreign State provide to that competent authority specific information relating to suspicious transactions or persons and corporations involved in those transactions or the investigation or prosecution of a money laundering and terrorism financing offence.
- Where an order for attachment of property is issued the Public Prosecution may make an order providing for the payment of moneys to the person named in the request for the reasonable subsistence of that person and his family.
- Without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties a contract shall be considered illegal and void if either party thereto knew or should have known that as a result of the contract the State of Bahrain would be prejudiced in its ability to recover financial claims pursuant to the provisions of this Law.
- No institution or employee of an institution shall be liable under any criminal or civil proceedings brought against it or him for complying with the obligations on them under this Law or any Regulations or Resolutions issued there under.
- Entities which implement the provisions of this Law and their staff shall not be liable under any criminal or civil proceedings brought against them for their compliance with the provisions of this Law and the Regulations and Regulations issued there under.
- It shall not be a defense to the offences created under this Law that the accused was prohibited from disclosing any information available to him in respect of the offence or suspicion thereof whether the prohibition is imposed by law or otherwise.
The offence of money laundering and terrorism financing shall be deemed to be one of the extraditable offences in accordance with the applicable Laws and the international treaties ratified by the State of Bahrain and the principle of reciprocity.
Regulations And Resolutions
- The Minister of Interior in co-ordination with the relevant entities may issue Regulations or Resolutions in relation to the functioning of the Committee provided for in Article 4 of this Law and for any amendments to the Schedule to this Law.
- The Minister of Interior in co-ordination with the relevant entities may issue Regulations or Resolutions in relation to the functioning of the Enforcement Unit.
The Ministers shall, where applicable, implement this Law and it shall come into force as of the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
Hamad bin lsa Al-Khalifa
Amir of the State of Bahrain
Issued at Riffa Palace
Dated the 4th Dhu’lQa’da 1421 Hijri,
Corresponding to 29th January 2001.
Activities Of Institutions
- Lending (including personal credits, mortgage credits, factoring (with or without recours
- , financial or commercial transaction including forfeiting)
- Finance leasing
- Venture risk capital
- Money transmissions services
- Issuing and administering means of payment (including credit cards, travellers'cheques and bankers' drafts)
- Guarantees and commitments
- Trading for own account or account of customers in:-
- Moneymarked instruments (including cheques, bills and certificates of deposit);
- Foreign exchange;
- Financial futures and options;
- Exchange and interest rate instruments and other financial derivatives; and
- Transferable instruments
- Underwriting share issues and the participation in such issues
- Money broking
- Investment business
- Deposit taking
- Insurance transactions
- Real property transactions
- Bullion dealing
- Financial intermediaries
- Legal Practice and Advocacy
Audit and Accountancy