The concerned authorities deal strictly with anyone who legitimizes or conceals the origin of the money acquired or originated from acts criminalized under Sharia or laws.
The Anti- Money Laundering Permanent Committee (AMLPC) affirms that money-laundering crimes pose a serious risk to the economic and social aspects of any country, especially those of which implement weak measures in the fight against such crimes.
According to AMLPC, money laundering emerges from money launderers legitimizing funds resulting from other crimes, known by law as predicate offences. This includes all offenses committed within, or any act committed outside the Kingdom if it constitutes a crime according to the laws of the State where it was committed and would have constituted an offense under the Sharia or statutory laws of the Kingdom had it been committed therein.
It is noteworthy that AMLPC chaired by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) includes representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Commerce and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, Presidency of State Security, Public Prosecution, Presidency of General Intelligence, Capital Market Authority. AMLPC was formed pursuant to the Council of Ministers Resolution No. (15) dated 17/1/1420 H corresponding to 3/5/1999 AD to implement the FATF's 40 recommendations to combat money laundering operations in accordance with the regulations in force in Saudi Arabia. One of AMLCP's tasks is to implement the above recommendations and follow up the implementation, as well as to study all topics related to combating money laundering in Saudi Arabia.
The Committee pointed out that the spread of money laundering operations in any society leads to increasing crime rates, and declining in the values of education and culture because the rapid gains of those crimes do not require a scientific qualification to commit it. Money laundering operations in any country may lead to the spread of shadow economy or commercial concealment, resulting to decline the economic growth, in addition to high inflation rates, which can raise the prices, subsequently, undermining fair competition. It also has adverse effects on other business activities.
The Anti-Money Laundering Law was issued by Royal Decree No. (M/20) dated 5/2/1439 AH, superseding the Anti-Money Laundering Law issued by Royal Decree No. (M / 31) dated 11/05/1433 AH. The crime of money laundering is considered a major offense requiring detention pursuant to Decision No. 2000 issued by His Highness the Minister of Interior in 1435. The authorities' concerned deal strictly with anyone who legitimizes or conceals the origin of the money acquired or originating from acts criminalized under Sharia or laws; such as illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons, currency counterfeiting and other crimes. Concealing the true origin of money (laundering) is not limited to cash, but includes assets, property and economic resources of whatever value, type or manner of ownership. When such funds arise directly or indirectly from the commission of a predicate offense, they are called proceeds.
It is worthy to point out that a person conviction of money laundering crime is unconditional to the conviction of committing a predicate offence such as illicit drug trafficking.
Saudi Arabia has imposed severe penalties for money launderers, as conviction for this crime is subject to a fine of up to seven million riyals and imprisonment for up to fifteen years or both. A Saudi convicted of money laundering shall be banned from traveling outside Saudi Arabia for a period similar to that of sentenced imprisonment. A non-Saudi convicted of money laundering shall be deported from the country after the execution of the sentence. The penalty of the crime of money laundering may be reduced if the perpetrator reports the crime to the competent authorities before they find out, or has reported the perpetrators and his report leads to their arrest or seizure of funds, instrumentalities or proceeds of the crime.