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anti money laundering

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Act 2017 (AML/CFT Act) – Whats required?

It has been reported by the Justice Department that every year around $1.35 billion of proceeds from fraud and illegal drugs are laundered through New Zealand businesses. Criminals launder money through businesses to avoid detection. Those who finance terrorism to support violent causes also use this method to disguise who is providing and receiving the money. The AML/CFT Act is designed to address this.

Clients are legally required to supply to their lawyers a certified passport or New Zealand drivers’ licence or equivalent and a current utility bill and bank statement to verify their identity and proof of address. If a company or trust is involved in a transaction, additional information may be required about those individuals who effectively control or benefit from the trust or company. In some circumstances we may need to ask clients for information about their source of wealth. This verification process may take some time, particularly where there are trusts and complex company structures involved.

If the identity of clients cannot be verified, the lawyer cannot act or must stop acting. For conveyancing transactions this may affect condition dates under an agreement and in some cases may even delay settlement.

This identification process MUST be completed PRIOR to commencing work for you, or if it is delayed there must be exceptional reasons which must be documented.

What’s needed from you?

- your full name

- your date of birth

- your address

- photo ID (NZ passport preferred or NZ Drivers License) & proof of address (utility bill or bank statement)

we may need more details but that is case dependent.

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