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Chilean anti-money laundering laws

Chilean anti-money laundering provisions are contained in a law enacted in 1995 in connection with the sanctioning of drug trafficking. Further to the passing of this law, a bill of law was introduced to amend the Chilean Banking Act to add some rules that would specifically implement anti-money laundering practices in banking operations.

Currently, anybody who participates or collaborates in the use in Chile of assets, securities, moneys, earnings or the like, knowing that they have been obtained or come from the perpetration in Chile or abroad of any of the crimes of drug trafficking sanctioned in that law, risks being subject to imprisonment (from 5 to 15 years) and fines (from $11,000 to $55,000).

The law empowers the Council for the Defence of the State (CDE) to request the cooperation of officers of the state administration and to obtain from them the information it may deem necessary for the enforcement of the powers vested on it. The CDE may also request abroad any information it may deem necessary to determine the origin or provenance of the assets, securities, moneys or earnings, being authorized to request direct assistance of the Chilean diplomatic and consular representations above.

The bill of law referred to above makes it the duty of banks and financial institutions to report to the Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions (SBFI) any transaction which in their opinion could have some connection with money laundering activities. It also creates a registry of banking transactions aimed at identifying dealings that may be used as a screen for money laundering. Thus, every transaction of an amount above $22,000 must be recorded with indication of the parties involved and of the third parties acting as agents for them. These records will be communicated to the SBFI every 15 days. The SBFI will inform the CDE of any transaction that may appear as suspect within 48 hours of it being so detected.

Cristián Eyzaguirre and Eduardo Puigrredón

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