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Singapore: new cash transactions report threshold soon implemented for Precious Stones and Metals Dealers

Precious stones and metals dealers will have to report cash transactions exceeding S$20,000 or its equivalent from Oct 15, as part of new rules aimed at preventing money laundering, the Government said on Wednesday (Oct 8).

“Precious stones and metals are portable, highly valuable, and can be easily bought and sold. These characteristics make it easier for criminals (including terrorists) to exploit them to launder their illicit funds,” the steering committee for combating money laundering and terrorist financing said in a statement. “Such precious commodities could also be used directly to support criminal activities. The risk increases when the transaction is conducted in cash where it is more difficult to trace the origin of the funds.”

Within 15 business days of any cash transactions involving precious stones and metals or products, dealers will have to file a cash transaction report (CTR) with the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office of the Commercial Affairs Department.

Besides reporting such cash transactions, precious stones and metals dealers must also determine the identity of the customer and enquire if the customer is acting on behalf of a third party. In such cases, dealers must determine the identity of the third party who owns the cash.

In addition, dealers are required to record the details of each cash transaction and maintain such records for a period of five years from the date of submission of the CTR, as well as put in place internal controls to prevent the financing of terrorism and proliferation.

Dealers that fail to comply with the new cash transaction reporting requirement will be fined up to S$20,000. They may also be jailed for a term of up to two years. This is in line with the international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation.

The steering committee, established in 1999, determines Singapore’s broad policy objectives for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The committee comprises the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Precious metals include gold, silver, platinum as well as other metals like iridium, palladium and rhodium, while precious stones include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and jade.

Source : Channel News Asia and Monetary Authority of Singapore


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