REPORT ON LAW N° 19.574: UPDATE AND SYSTEMATIZATION ON PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND FINANCING OF TERRORISM

On January 10, 2018, Law No. 19.574 was published, enacted on December 20, 2017, whose main purpose is to order and update the current regulations against money laundering and financing of terrorism (hereinafter, "LAFT").

In general terms, the regulation includes previous provisions and raises some regulatory requirements to legal status.

The text in question is organized into nine chapters dealing with five major themes:

1) Institutional Framework for the Prevention of LAFT.

2) Bases of the preventive system, where the regulated entities are regulated and the scope of their obligations.

3) Regulation of the exchange of information among various agencies of different States.

5) Provisions that have to do with the transportation of cash, monetary instruments and precious metals.

5) Criminal and procedural provisions of local and international order.

Of these themes, we will focus on items 1, 2 and 5, since they present the greatest innovations.

In relation to the first item, the law creates the Commission against the LAFT, dependent on the Presidency of the Republic. Likewise, the regulation of one of the agencies already created and in operation is systematized: SENACLAFT.

The second item regulates the obligated parties and the scope of their duties. As in the case of previous regulations, the law groups the obligated parties into two classes: on the one hand, the Financially Obligated Subjects (basically, all those subjects controlled by the Central Bank, as well as securities transport companies), and on the other, the Non-Financial Obliged Subjects.

Regarding the latter, one of the main novelties is in the designation of new subjects, among which, with the scope indicated by the law, lawyers, indirect users of free zones, civil and other associations, foundations, political parties and in general, any non-profit organization with or without legal personality, accountants, among others.

Finally, the law adds to the existing crimes records of money laundering, among others, tax fraud, customs fraud, bankruptcy fraud, homicide, serious and very serious injuries, theft, robbery, takeovers, cattle rustling and the association to commit a crime, all in certain hypotheses and with certain scopes. Likewise, the so-called "self-laundering" crime is expressly included. Provisions are also established relating to the confiscation of assets linked to crimes of LAFT and owned by the alleged perpetrators of said crimes.