Tuesday, November 21st 2017
 
English
عربي
  • On November 24, 2015 , the Lebanese Parliament passed Law No. 44 on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing. 
  • This law criminalizes the laundering of proceeds from crimes such as: the growing, manufacturing, or illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and/or psychotropic substances, the participation in illegal associations with the intention of committing crimes and misdemeanors, terrorism, the financing of terrorism or terrorist acts and any other related activities (travel, organizing, training, recruiting…) or the financing of individuals or terrorist organizations, illicit arms trafficking, kidnapping, insider trading, breach of confidentiality, hindering of auctions, and illegal speculation, corruption, including bribery, trading in influence, embezzlement, abuse of functions, abuse of power, and illicit enrichment, and others.
  • The said law defines money-laundering operations, and stipulates the fines and imprisonment penalties imposed on such offences. Under its provisions, the Special Investigation Commission (SIC) was established as an independent legal entity with judicial status. The SIC investigates suspicious transactions, decides on the seriousness of evidence, and has the exclusive right to lift banking secrecy, thus enabling the competent judicial authorities and the Higher Banking Commission to take the necessary measures. 
The Commission is composed of:
a)  The Governor of   Banque du Liban, as Chairman. 
  b)  The Chairman of the Banking Control Commission.
  c)  The Judge appointed to the Higher Banking Commission. 
  d)  A professional appointed by the Council of Ministers.

 

  • In accordance with the provisions of Law No. 44, the SIC appointed a full-time Secretary General, who shall be responsible for the tasks assigned to him by “the Commission”, for implementing its decisions and for directly supervising its regular and contractual staff and the persons delegated by “the Commission” for a specific mission. The provisions of the Banking Secrecy Law of September 3, 1956 shall not be opposed to any of them.
  • The mission of the SIC is to:
    - Collect and retain the information received from the parties referred to in Articles 4 and 5 of Law No. 44, as well as the information received from Lebanese and foreign official authorities, and all other collected information, and to share such information with the Commission’s counterparts, in its capacity as the competent authority and the official center to undertake such a task.
    - Issue regulations on the implementation of the provisions of this Law addressed to the parties referred to in Article 5, and to issue recommendations to all concerned parties.
  • Within the scope of their legal duties, the Chairman, the members of the Commission, the Secretary, and the Commission's staff and delegates are protected by judicial immunity. They may not be prosecuted or sued, neither collectively nor individually, for any action related to the discharging of their duties, including offences specified by the Banking Secrecy law of September 3, 1956, when there is a disclosure of banking secrecy. Moreover, in discharging their duties under the law, or in accordance with the decisions of the Commission, the banks operating in Lebanon and their staff enjoy the same immunity.

 

 

This Unit is entrusted with the following tasks:

Installing and maintaining servers, computers, and all technical equipment.

Developing, updating and maintaining required IT programs in-line with the work needs of the various units and also those relating to the databank, security and monitoring equipment.

Setting up security procedures for data and programs, and ensuring their efficiency.

Building a website for the purpose of highlighting Lebanon's AML policies and providing technical assistance for periodic updates. 

Analyzing and implementing IT programs for the purpose of exchanging information with local and foreign authorities concerned with fighting money laundering.

Controlling access to the SIC Secretariat offices.

Operating and managing the monitoring system.

This Unit is entrusted with the following tasks:

Auditing as per Commission mandate accounts subject suspicious transactions reports and in other accounts suspected to conceal money-laundering operations.

Gathering evidence on operations that may constitute money-laundering offenses.

Submitting to the Commission, through the Secretary, reports on both audited accounts and investigations that relate to operations suspected to constitute money laundering.

Informing the "Financial Investigation Administrative Unit" of their reports on suspicious accounts and operations, to be entered on their databank.

Informing the "Compliance Unit" of their reports on suspicious accounts and operations, to be taken into consideration when carrying out assignments at concerned banks and financial institutions.

The Secretary General is entrusted with tasks that include:

Supervising directly:

  • The Audit & Investigation Unit
  • The Financial Investigation Administrative Unit
  • The Compliance Unit
  • The Information Technology & Security Unit.

Receiving directly or through the Chairman of the Commission all money-laundering related suspicious transactions reports.

Notifying concerned parties of the Commission's decisions.

Implementing through concerned units decisions made by the Commission.

Submitting to the Commission reports on missions finalized by concerned units and providing an analytical opinion on those reports.

Monitoring domestic and foreign laws and regulations and recommending to the Commission amendments to be made especially with respect to the regulations on the Control of Financial and Banking Operations for Fighting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.

Submitting to the Commission recommendations concerning:

  • Amending the regulations on the Control of Financial and Banking Operations for Fighting Money Laundering.
  • Introducing internal auditing procedures to all sectors, namely in agriculture, industry, trade and services, in order to prevent   money laundering practices in these sectors.

Overseeing both staff related administrative matters as well as budget and expenditure concerns.

Implementing the Commission's decisions that aim at fostering cooperation with foreign counterparts.

 

This Unit is entrusted with the following tasks:

  • Auditing and examining banks, finance companies and other reporting entities, as per commission mandate, to ensure compliance with:
    • Law No. 318 dated 20/4/2001 on Fighting Money Laundering.
    • The Regulations on the Control of Financial and Banking Operations for Fighting Money Laundering (Banque du Liban  Circular 83 and its amendments).
    • Special Investigation Commission Circulars.
    • Banque du Liban prospective Circulars on Fighting Money Laundering.
  • Preparing reports and periodic statistical data that reflect compliance of banks, finance companies and other reporting entities with the anti-money laundering regulations and informing the Commission through the Secretary of its findings.
  • Asking through the Secretary, as per commission mandate that banks, finance companies and other reporting entities take corrective measures when instances of non-compliance or partial compliance are noted and follow up on the implementation of the required corrective measures.
  • Advising the "Audit & Investigation Unit" of the compliance status of banks, finance companies and other reporting entities when investigations in operations that might conceal money laundering are initiated at those entities.
  • Suggesting procedural measures to the Secretary aimed at enhancing supervision for fighting money laundering.
  • Submitting to the Commission, through the Secretary, suggestions to amend the regulations on to the Control of Financial and Banking Operations For Fighting Money Laundering.
  • Verifying that external auditors forward the reports subject paragraph 1 of article 13 of the regulations on the Control of Financial and Banking Operations for Fighting Money Laundering to the Governor of the Central Bank within the specified period and ensure, through the Secretary, that banks and financial institutions implement the required corrective measures mentioned in those reports.
  • Contacting external auditors, through the Secretary, to ensure that they are implementing the requirements stipulated in basic Decision 7818 dated 18/5/2001, this shall be done after comparing Compliance Unit reports with those of external auditors.

This Unit is entrusted with the following tasks:

Gathering information from various sources concerning suspicious transactions related to money laundering, especially those under investigation and forwarding them to concerned parties, through the Secretary, with the approval of the Commission.

Establishing a databank that contains information on investigations related to suspicious transactions, names of persons involved or suspected in money laundering operations and indictments against individuals that committed such crimes to be organized by sector and by geographic distribution.

Information on money laundering operations shall be classified by source:

 

  • Information received from institutions covered by the Banking Secrecy Law of September 3, 1956 (banks, financial institutions), may be provided to judicial authorities or foreign competent authorities only by a decision of the Commission. 
  • Information received from institutions not covered by the Banking Secrecy Law of September 9, 1956 (money dealers, brokerage firms.) may be provided to asking authorities in accordance with procedures decided by the Commission.
  • Monitoring domestic and foreign laws and regulations and recommending to the Commission, through the Secretary, amendments to be made to those enforced in Lebanon to enhance fighting money laundering.
  • Coordinating with the "Information Technology & Security Unit" on building and updating the Commission's website.
  • Carrying out requested studies.
  • Carrying out R&D and organizing training events
  • Submitting to the Commission, through the Secretary, recommendations on ways to introduce internal auditing procedures to all sectors, namely in agriculture, industry, trade and services, in order to prevent the introduction of money laundering practices to these sectors.