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  • FICA Guide

  • Background
    The Financial Intelligence Centre Act (hereinafter referred to as “FICA”) was passed by Parliament in December 2001 and is being promulgated in a phased approach. FICA effectively establishes a partnership between the private and the public sector to assist in the identification of proceeds of unlawful activities thereby combating money laundering activities.

    In terms of FICA, the Money Laundering Advisory Council and Financial Intelligence Centre (hereinafter referred to as “FIC”) were established.

    Who is affected?
    All accountable institutions including estate agents, attorneys, banks, insurance companies.

    What is money laundering?
    Money laundering is the process of manipulating the proceeds of crime in order to conceal the nature of its true source. Money that started out dirty will end up clean and any act in connection with any proceeds of crime, whether it is in the form of money or property or any other form can constitute a laundering offence.

    Estate agents’ duties under FICA FICA imposes the following categories of duties
    on estate agents:-

    1. The duty to establish and verify the identity of clients, commonly referred to as the “know-your-client-requirement”.
    • An estate agent may not establish a business relationship with a client unless the estate agent has taken the prescribed steps to establish and verify the identity of the client.
    • The client will be the person who has given an estate agent a mandate.
    • We believe that it is important to get as much information as possible at the mandate stage and inform the client as to what documentation is required.
    • The client’s identity must then be verified before the mandate is performed.
    1. The duty to report suspicious transactions to FIC
    • An automatic reporting duty relating to cash transactions and electronic transfers of money to or from the Republic in excess of the prescribed amount.
    • Reporting of suspicious or unusual transactions. This means the business believes it has received or is about to receive the proceeds of unlawful activities
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