Law No. 155-17 against Money Laundering and Terrorism FinancingPublished on:
As a result of the joint efforts made by the different sectors involved in the prevention of asset laundering to promote the legal framework against such illegal activity and the financing of terrorism, on June
1st,2017, the Law against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing No.155-17 (hereinafter, the “Law” or “Law 155-17) was enacted in the Dominican Republic, replacing and repealing Law No. 72-02 regarding Money Laundering proceeding from Drug Trafficking, enacted on June 7, of 2002. In accordance with the provisions of this Law, the Executive Branch shall issue, within a period of sixty (60) days after its enactment, its corresponding regulation for execution and application. Pursuant to Law 155-17, asset laundering is defined as the process by which natural or juridical persons and criminal
organizations seek to give a legitimate appearance to illicit assets originated from the offenses specifically identified in the Law.
On another hand, for purposes of the Law, terrorism financing is considered as the international financing, subsidization, concealment or transfer of money or assets to be used to carry out any of the offenses corresponding to terrorism.
Through its provisions, Law 155-17 expressly identifies the infractions that shall qualify as asset laundering perse, the criminal offenses associated with asset laundering, as well as criminal offenses considered as terrorism financing. In this regard, the Law indicates that the classified offenses shall be investigated, prosecuted and ruled as independent actions from the previous offenses (term defined below herein) regardless of whether such previous offenses were committed in another jurisdiction.
It should be noted that this new legislation constitutes an important progress for the Dominican Republic, given that it introduces new international standards into our legal system regarding the prevention of asset laundering, terrorism financing, pursuant to the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FAFT), issued in February 2012 and updated in year 2016.
In addition, Law 155-17 arises as a response to terrorism financing, which has been a problem and a global challenge since the beginning of this century and has generated an important focus of the efforts of different countries in the detection and confiscation of the resources destined to the financing of this activity. Consequently, as a notably innovative aspect of this legislation, the Law introduces for the first time in our legal system the definition of criminal offenses related to terrorism financing.
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