Informed banking sources said vigorous steps have taken by the concerned authorities regarding the development of a legal framework to regulate the activities and operations of influencers on social media, after it became evident increasing number of individuals have been referred made by the Investigation Unit to the Public Prosecution over the past four years, which ended with the filing of cases for the absence of a law and regulations regulating these new activities for individuals.
Now the local banks are heading towards regulating the exploitation by individuals to inflate their personal bank accounts through commercial activities via multiple parties on a continuous and increasing basis, in exchange for providing commercial services and products, which puts them under suspicion.
The sources stressed that the government measures taken by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf to carry out reforms based on the launch of a package of decisions and organizational instructions to reduce financial abuses, and they are moving in more than one direction at the same time.
These measures, which were initiated by the ministries of the state, such as Commerce and Industry, Social Affairs, Justice, Interior, Finance, and others, deal with important files that have been waiting for resolution for a long time related to negative phenomena and wholesale practices, while one of the most important contributing measures aims to close doors from which potential crimes of money laundering and terrorist financing and other suspicions may be carried out.
The sources said that the government, through its various agencies, has developed a list of strict mechanisms in cash transactions through commercial and other operations through a series of decisions and measures it has taken, the most recent of which was the announcement by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry regarding the ban on cash sales in exhibitions whose intensive activity will begin soon which is characterized by exceptional sales and a wide presence, as the halls in the Fairgrounds and other specialized sites in the country are usually crowded with visitors when holding these exhibitions for perfumes, gold, jewelry, watches and school supplies.
While this decision was not the only Ministry of Commerce decision, but was preceded by a long list of procedures and measures to regulate the various sectors and commercial markets, the sources explained that the steps taken by the government in this aspect come to legalize cash payment operations, and prove payment mechanisms in specific forms such as bank transfer and certified checks with a specific purpose and through Point of Sale devices, as a condition for passing and completing transactions related to real estate registration, transfer of ownership of vehicles and yachts, and sales of durable and valuable goods such as cars, watches, jewelry, etc., in order to achieve a set of goals, including drying up any potential outlets that can be exploited in money laundering operations.
The sources indicated that these measures are part of a larger plan launched by the government last year as part of its preparation for the joint periodic evaluation process of the State of Kuwait regarding its fulfillment of international requirements and assessment of the capacity of its organs and the effectiveness of its legislation and legal and judicial systems in reducing cross-border financial crimes known as money laundering and terrorist financing, in cooperation with the international body Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The sources indicated FAFT is concerned with setting standards and promoting the effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, financing proliferation, and other threats related to the integrity of the international financial system, noting that observers monitored last year serious steps taken by Kuwait to maintain Put them in and to ensure they stay away from watch lists.
The sources stated that “Kuwait is on the verge of an important stage related to the global outlook towards it, as FATF is expected to issue its report regarding the situation of Kuwait in light of the joint assessments at the end of this year and perhaps next year, taking into account the government measures that have been taken at the national level in preparation for the FATF evaluation.
For its part, the Central Bank of Kuwait, according to the sources, is leading the efforts towards digital transformation through its early provision of an advanced technical infrastructure that contributes to promoting transformation and at the same time supports the government’s efforts to achieve its vision and plans in this direction.
The sources noted that, thanks to the efforts of the Central Bank and in cooperation with other parties, Kuwait has achieved a qualitative leap in electronic payment systems, which is considered the most advanced and advanced in the region, which contributed to the speed of transformation and the provision of wide options for payments that helped achieve great progress in controlling transfers and various payments, and reducing reliance on cash transactions for individuals and companies, in the direction of protecting the country from money laundering and terrorist financing crimes.
In the same context, the sources pointed out that Kuwait has achieved an exceptional leap in the level of individuals’ increasing dependence on the use of payment methods through various electronic channels and plastic cards compared to cash payments, as the percentage of payment through electronic channels amounted to about 89 percent in the first half of this year compared to about 11 percent for “cash” payment, noting that the rates of financial inclusion in Kuwait are among the highest in the world.
In the same context, and within its efforts to support efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, the Central Bank announced last May that banks and exchange companies must inform it of any transfer or cash deposit of 3,000 dinars or more.