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MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION HAS BEEN EXPANDED TO COVER ELECTRONIC MONEY AND PAYMENT INSTITUTIONS AS OBLIGED PARTIES

A new regulation (“New Regulation”) amending the Regulation on Measures Regarding Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime and Financing of Terrorism (published in the Official Gazette dated 09.01.2008 with the number 26751) is published in the Official Gazette dated 18.03.2016 with the number 29657. Although the electronic money institutions and payment institutions have been deemed as financial institutions and therefore have been accepted as Obliged Parties; with the New Regulation, the Electronic Money Institutions and Payment Institutions are included explicitly in the list of Obliged Parties within the context of the money laundering legislation.

The following obligations of the Obliged Parties shall also be applied to electronic money institutions and payment institutions under the legislation of the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK):
 
•    The obliged parties shall identify the persons carrying out transactions and the persons on behalf or for the benefit of whom the transactions are conducted within or through the obliged parties before the transactions are conducted.
•    In case that there is any information, suspicion or reasonable grounds to suspect that the asset, which is subject to the transactions carried out or attempted to be carried out within or through the obliged parties, is acquired through illegal ways or used for illegal purposes, these transactions shall be reported to the Presidency of Financial Crimes Investigation Board by the obliged parties.
•    Other than the examiners assigned to conduct supervision of the obligations and the courts during legal proceedings, the obliged parties shall not disclose to anybody including the parties to the transaction, that they have reported or will report the suspicious transactions to the Presidency of Financial Crimes Investigation Board.
•    With respect to the transactions to which they are parties or for which they act as intermediaries, the obliged parties shall report the transactions exceeding the amount determined by the Ministry of Finance to the Presidency of Financial Crimes Investigation Board.
•    The obliged parties shall retain the documents, books and records, identification documents kept in all forms regarding their transactions and obligations established in the Law No. 5549 for eight years starting from the draft date, the last record date, the last transaction date respectively and submit them when requested.
•    The obliged parties failing to comply with any obligation shall be punished with an administrative fine or sentenced to imprisonment subject to the type of failure.

Finally, the electronic money institutions and payment institutions are also listed in the list of institutions that have to assign compliance officer with the amendment to the Regulation on Program of Compliance with Obligations of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism. Therefore, the electronic money institutions and payment institutions are obliged to assign compliance officers at an administrative level.
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