Financial intelligence became financial police
The leadership of Russia pays attention to the financial aspects of life in Russia. Russian State Duma deputies approved amendments to the law “On currency control and regulation,” equalizing residents and non-residents. The new document also specifies the amount of currency that can be taken out of Russia duty-free: $1500.
Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the law “On the introduction of changes and amendments to the federal law ‘On the struggle with money-laundering.’”The State Duma passed the law on September 27th, and the senators approved it on October 16th. Now, it is possible to say that the Russian financial intelligence has become the financial police.
According to these changes and amendments, the Committee for Financial Monitoring has had its authorities expanded considerably. Financial intelligence is now entitled to stop bank operations if they consider them suspicious. The new law also expands the list of suspicious operations as well. Financial intelligence must pay special attention to the funding of terrorism. All financial activities that are suspected of being connected with terrorist organizations are now going to be under the special attention of the financial intelligence. The latter is now authorized to freeze any financial transactions for a week on the grounds of a possible implication in terrorism.
The list of organizations obliged to provide information to the Committee for Financial Monitoring is now even longer. Now, the list includes more companies that sell precious metals and stones, as well as those companies that govern investments or non-state pension funds. In other words, all pensioners of the Russian oil giant LUKOIL could be deprived of their pensions if the committee thinks that one of the pensioners (a Chechen, for example) might be connected with terrorists.
It goes without saying that one should conduct a fierce and professional struggle with terrorism and the funding of it. However, laws are being changed by the state against the background of the recent act of terrorism. This means that the state is obtaining more and more control over the banking system of the country. Let’s just hope that the state will not empty the common Russian’s wallet under the guise of the struggle with terrorism. Going too far is a Russian national tradition, you know.
Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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