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Sunday , December 8 2019

Ministry of Commerce & Industry shuts real-estate co for a month

File referred to anti-money laundering unit

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 23: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) closed a real-estate company for one month and referred its file to Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorism Financing Unit of the Ministry to to examine its papers and scrutinize its operations to ensure the soundness of its legal and financial position, reports Al-Rai daily quoting relevant sources

The sources pointed out that ministry monitored the violation of the company on social media advertising real estate products known as ‘Time Share’ or ownership by sharing time, without obtaining a license from the Ministry, which is contrary to the procedures and instructions stipulated in the ministerial decisions In this regard.

The sources added that such operations usually raise regulatory speculation about the possibility of using such companies as a back door to launder money or finance criminal operations, or that these products may be a trick to fraud on citizens and seize their money.

On the company’s size, nature and scope of operations, the sources said that it is clear so far that the company’s investments abroad and real estate are limited, without adding further details. As for the possibility of actions taken against the company, whether by referring its file to the Financial Investigation Unit, or transferring its officials to legal entities, or impose financial fines on them, the sources said that the final decision depends on the results of open investigations in the ministry regarding the safety of the company’s business.

At the same time, the sources stressed that the ministry’s referral of the company’s file to the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Department does not mean that it is implicated in criminal operations, pointing out that referral to the investigation is considered a precautionary measure after suspicion of the operations of any violating party.

So far the company has violated only the prescribed advertising conditions. It is noteworthy that the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Department issued last September 56 precautionary measures against violating companies subject to the provisions of the law (2013/106).

These measures included issuing written warnings to 17 real estate companies, 4 jewelry companies, two money changers and insurance companies, in addition to issuing an order obliging 19 real estate companies, 4 jewelry companies, 5 exchange companies and 4 insurance companies to follow specific procedures to comply with the law.

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