Resolution No. 81 of 2012 by the Minister of Justice, Chairman of the Lawyers Admission Committee Concerning the Obligations of Qatar-based Law Offices and Firms with respect to Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism

Annex: Instructions about Obligations of Qatar-based Law Offices and Firms with Respect to Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism

Annex: Instructions about Obligations of Qatar-based Law Offices and Firms with Respect to Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism

Article 1

Definitions

 

Without prejudice to the definitions set forth in Law No. 4 of 2010 promulgating the Law combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, in the application of the provisions of this Resolution, the following words and expressions shall have the meanings assigned to them, unless the context requires otherwise:

 

“Advocate” means an agent who is consulted by the concerned person to perform any of the duties of the legal profession stipulated in Article 3 of the Advocacy Law referred to above, and who is a member of the Practising Lawyers’ Roll.

 

“Law firm” means a firm that is engaged in the acts of the legal profession and is a member of the Law Firm Roll.

 

“International law office” means an office of a foreign legal firm licensed to work in the State of Qatar by the competent authority under the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 57 of 2010, determining controls and conditions for the licensing of international law offices and the obligations thereof.

 

“Lawyers Admission Committee” means the committee established under the presidency of the Minister of Justice and its constitution and duties are stipulated in the Advocacy Law referred to above.

“Acts of the law profession” means the acts specified in the licence issued to the lawyer, to a law firm or to an international law office which are stipulated in Article 3 of the Advocacy Law referred to above.

 

“Customer or Client” means any person, Qatari or non-Qatari, resident or non-resident, who consults with a lawyer, law firm or an international law office, seeking legal advice or power of attorney in a legal case on behalf thereof, or representation in legal proceedings.

 

“Due diligence measures” means the measures taken by the lawyer or law firm to determine and verify the identity of the customer or client, and to determine whether the customer is acting on behalf of someone else, and whether the customer is a juristic person, and to identify the actual beneficiaries in any legal proceedings, and to establish the objectives of the professional relationship and transactions between the lawyer and his client.

 

“Money laundering” means any of the following acts:

1.     Sale or the transfer of property by any person who knows or suspects, or should have known or suspected that such property has been criminally obtained, or whose acquisition has been financed by criminal acts, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit source of such property, or of assisting any person involved in the commission of the predicate offence to escape the legal consequences thereof;

2.     Concealing or disguising the property’s real nature, source, or location; or disposition, movement, and ownership of the property or rights thereof; by any person who knows or who should have known or suspects that such property has been acquired by the proceeds of crime.

3.     Acquisition, possession or utilization of a property by any person who knows or should have known or suspected that such property has been acquired by the proceeds of crime.

“Terrorism Financing” means an act by any person, who, by any means, directly or indirectly, wilfully provides or collects funds, or attempts thereto; with the intention of using such funds or in the knowledge of their use, wholly or partially in the execution of a terrorist act; by a terrorist or by a terrorist organisation.


“Terrorist Act” means:

1-              An act which constitutes an offence as defined in any of the international conventions concerning combating terrorism stipulated in the Law of combating money laundering and terrorism financing referred to above, or any similar later convention acceded to and ratified by the State of Qatar.

2-              Any other act intended to kill or cause severe bodily injury to civilians or any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in the theatre of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to terrify, injure or kill a group of people, or to coerce a government or an international organisation to commit or refrain from committing a certain act.
 

“Terrorist” means any natural person who commits any of the following acts:
 

1-      Intentionally commits or attempts to commit terrorists acts by any means, directly or indirectly;
2-      Collusion in the execution of terrorist acts;
3-      Organises or directs others to commit terrorist acts; or
4-      Collaborates in the commission of terrorist acts by a group of persons acting with a common purpose where the collaboration is aimed at furthering the terrorist act or with the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit a terrorist act.

“Terrorist organisation” means any group of terrorists which commits any of the following acts:

1-      Intentionally commits or attempts to commit terrorists acts by any means, directly or indirectly;
2-      Collusion in the execution of terrorist acts;
3-      Organises or directs others to commit terrorist acts; or
4-      Collaborates in the commission of terrorist acts by a group of persons acting with a common purpose where the collaboration is aimed at furthering the terrorist act or with the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit a terrorist act.

“Persons with risk by virtue of their positions” means customers of foreign countries with political influence, or those who have been entrusted with prominent public functions by a foreign country or territory, or a family member or closely related partner thereof, such as heads of states and governments, ministers, current and former government officials, members of parliamentary assemblies, members of the senior judiciary, military leaders, important officials of political parties, and members of royal families and their families and people associated with them or their families. Members of the immediate family include spouses, children and their spouses and parents.

“Suspicion report” means a report which shall be prepared by a lawyer, law firm or an international law office and shall be submitted to the Financial Information Unit detailing any transactions or attempted transactions which fall under suspicion of contravening the provisions of Articles 14 and 18 of Law No. 4 of 2010, concerning the combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

 

Article 2

The Activities Included

All enrolled and qualified lawyers and national and international law offices and firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall fully comply with the instructions detailed in this Resolution when acting on behalf of the client in any transaction or relationship pertaining to any of the following activities:

a.      Purchase or sale of real estate.
b.      Management of the client’s property, securities or other assets.
c.      Management of bank accounts, saving accounts or securities accounts.
d.      Organising contributions to the establishment, operation or management of companies or other entities.
e.      Establishment, operation or management of juristic persons or legal arrangements.
f.       Purchase or sale of commercial businesses.

 

Article 3

 

The Basic Principles for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism

The first principle involves the responsibility of senior management: the senior management in the office, firm or international law office shall guarantee that the followed policies, procedures, regulations and controls all comply properly and adequately with the requirements of Law No. 4 of 2010 concerning the combating of money laundering and terrorism financing, and these instructions.

 

The second principle involves the method based on risk: the office, firm or international law office shall adopt a method based on risk according to the requirements of these instructions.

 

The third principle involves knowing your customer: the office, firm or international law office shall know each customer or client commensurate with the risk description thereof.

.

The fourth principle involves effective reporting: the office, firm or international law office shall take effective measures to ensure measures for the effective reporting and communication of concerns about terrorism or money laundering if at any time it detects or suspects the offences of money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

 

The fifth principle involves investigation procedures in accordance with scrupulous professional standards and proper training: the office, firm or international law office shall establish thorough recruitment procedures to guarantee that only those with high professional and moral standards are hired as lawyers, and firms shall develop ongoing and appropriate training programmes in order to properly investigate and combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

 

The sixth principle involves the guarantee of providing evidence of compliance: the office, firm or international law office shall be able to offer and provide documents that prove its commitment to the requirements of legislation to counter money laundering and the funding of terrorism.

 

Article 4

 

General Responsibilities to Combat Money Laundering and the financing of terrorism

The office or firm shall develop a programme to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism in connection with its business, and shall work to develop it. This programme shall take into account the type of work carried out by the office or the firm and shall include at a minimum the following:

1 - Setting internal policies, procedures, regulations, controls, and investigative techniques, and developing them and maintaining them in order to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

2 - Applying adequate investigative procedures in relation to employees and staff in order to guarantee the appropriate selection of worthy and law-abiding candidates who maintain a scrupulous approach to their duties whilst employed in the legal profession.

3 – Those responsible within a law firm for receiving notification of suspicions about money laundering or the funding of terrorism should be easily accessible by other staff members, and they should act on information that they are furnished with in a timely manner.

4 – An appropriate and continuous training programme regarding the combating of terrorism funding and money laundering is required for all relevant employees at a legal firm.  

5 - The policies, procedures, regulations and controls shall cover at a minimum the following:

A. Due diligence measures and continuous monitoring,

B. Preparing and maintaining records,

C. Detecting suspicious transactions,

D. The duties of internal and external reporting,

E. Informing employees and keeping them up-to-date on policies, procedures, regulations and guidelines of the firm,

F. Any other matters required by the Law regarding combating money laundering and the funding of terrorism.

 

6 - The firm or office shall conduct a periodic review in order to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of its policies, procedures, regulations and controls relating to the combating of money laundering and terrorism financing. These measures should be reviewed at least on an annual basis.  

7 - The firm and office shall guarantee the commitment of officials, employees and commercial partners thereof, and contractors, wherever they are, to the following:

A. The requirements of the Law of combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

B. Policies, procedures and regulations used in the firm and office with the aim of combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

8. The policies, procedures, regulations and controls shall include the following:

  A- The requirement of all employees, officials and agents to report all suspicious transactions to the relevant Money Laundering Reporting Official, according to either the origin or destination of these funds.

  B- Providing to the senior management of the firm and reporting official, the regulatory authority, and the Financial Information Unit. adequate and unrestricted access to documents and data about the firm or office, wherever this information is stored, which relates directly or indirectly to transactions that originate in this jurisdiction or funds that are sent to it which may be subject to suspicions of money laundering or the funding of terrorism.

 

Article 5

Due Diligence Measures for Auditing Clients

 

1. Verifying the identity of the customer or the client whether a natural person or legal entity, including the following:

A. For a natural person, identification data includes the full name of the client, his permanent residential address, phone number, occupation, address and place of work, nationality, the ID number of Qatari citizens and residents in the State, and the passport number of expatriates, the date and place of birth, the name and address of the sponsor, the objectives and beneficiaries of the deal, the names and nationalities of those commissioning the deal. Firms shall keep a copy of the identity card of the client or his passport after seeing the original.

 

B. For the legal entity, identification data includes: commercial name, commercial number, legal form, confirmation of membership of relevant commercial registries, commercial activities and purposes, the address of the registered office and branches, data pertaining to the owners of the firm and the main shareholders, the names of members of the Board of Directors, the name and address of the legal representative of a legal entity and identification data, the names of the persons authorised to sign on behalf of the legal entity with samples of their signatures, and the memorandum of association and articles of association authenticated by the competent authority in the state.

 

2. Verification of customer transactions, including:

A. Verifying the client’s agent: through verifying whether the person who claims that he is acting on behalf of the client is in fact a person who is authorised to do so, and detecting and verifying his identity by the same procedures set forth in paragraph (a/1) of Item 1.

B. Verifying the identity of the primary client, if there are many parties involved in the case, or if there are multiple operations but it looks interdependent.

C. Authenticating the relations with the client under a contract or attested agency.

3. The licensed offices, law firms or international law firms, and their employees may not alert their customers or third parties that information relating to such customers has been communicated to the Unit or that a report has been submitted, or is in the process of being submitted to the Unit detailing suspicions of money laundering or the financing of terrorism,

4. The offices and law firms may not disclose to a third party any information submitted to the Financial Information Unit and the Ministry of Justice.

5. The offices, law firms and international law firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall pay special attention to:

A. Persons at risk by virtue of their position shall be assessed and managed according to the following procedures:

(1) Developing appropriate regulations to manage their transactions to determine whether the client at or during the time of commencing the transaction is a person at risk by virtue of his position or not, and for that they shall access and assess all available data and information to the public, or those found in commercial databases for people at risk by virtue of their positions.

(2) Obtaining the approval of senior management for the party addressed under the provisions of this Resolution to establish a working relationship with a person at risk by virtue of his position before being accepted as a client.

(3) Keeping in the client's file the actions taken to determine his wealth and assets and the source of this wealth.

(4) Monitoring the working relationship with these people on a continuous and rigorous basis.

(5) The parties subject to the provisions of this Resolution who have  accepted a client and then have discovered that this client is a vulnerable person by virtue of his position shall take the following procedures:

(A) Rigorously analysing all complex financial transactions, including loans and payments as well as his international business and transactional relationships.

(B) Obtaining an approval from senior management staff to continue the working relationship with him.

B. People who are citizens of so-called high risk countries shall be subject to special scrutiny: These high risk countries include any country that does not properly apply the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations or countries whose international cooperation in commercial regulatory activity is weak, or countries subject to sanctions, or where the indices of corruption are high. People from such countries are subject to procedures of particular scrutiny, and accurate monitoring of their transactions shall be carried out.

6. The process of verifying the identity of the customer or the client is obligatory in all cases, but is of particular importance in the following cases:

A. Casual transactions worth more than 55,000 Qatari Riyals (QR), including cases in which they are one-off transactions or several, apparently structured transactions.

B. When a law office or firm has doubts about the authenticity of the adequacy of customer identification data obtained previously.

C. Identifying the actual beneficiary and taking reasonable measures to confirm this identity using relevant information or data obtained from a reliable source.

D. Determining the true identity of the client, and determining if customers are in fact acting on behalf of other people.

E. Obtaining adequate information about the nature of the business relationship between the client and the person he is representing.

F. Taking due diligence measures for customers or those engaged in professional working relationships or transactions of the groups at high risk.

G. It is permitted to take simplified or more basic due diligence measures for certain categories of customers, or working relationships or transactions.

H. It is necessary to exercise caution and diligence when monitoring transactions made using modern technologies that are not face-to-face.

 

Article 6

Reporting of Suspicious Transactions

1. Definition of suspicion: This can be defined as doubts or concerns about unusual commercial activity by the customer or the client, or that there are reasonable objective grounds for suspicion, that the client is involved in the process of money laundering and or the financing of terrorism. Facts are established only when there is strong and clear evidence of wrongdoing, and the process of establishing these facts may first be triggered by suspicion. The veracity of this suspicion depends on the strength of the evidence elaborated to establish the conviction, but it does not itself establish guilt. Suspicion means there is doubt or uncertainty or concern about a transaction, and that it may somehow further the financing of terrorism or money laundering. In both cases, the Financial Information Unit shall be informed of these suspicious transactions.

2. In accordance with Article 18 of the Law of combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, lawyers, law firms and national and international law firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall inform the Financial Information Unit, without delay, of all financial transactions, or any attempts to complete these transactions, regardless of their value, if there is suspicion that funds used in these transactions constitute the proceeds of crime or are linked to the funding of terrorism, or are intended to be used in the commission of terrorist acts by terrorist organisations. This will enable the Financial Information Unit to take necessary action in the matter, and it is not a violation of the confidentiality of the profession. The Unit should  be notified in accordance with the form prepared for this purpose (Annex 1) and a copy of it should be submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

3. Lawyers and national and international law offices and firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall establish internal procedures and controls which mandate the informing of the Financial Information Unit by any employee or manager if there is reasonable suspicion that transactions or commercial relationships are founded on the proceeds or the returns of criminal activity related to money laundering or the financing of terrorism. There shall be internal sanctions enforced when there is a failure to inform the Unit without reason or reasonable excuse.

4. According to the provisions of Article 40 of Law No. 4 of 2010 on combating money laundering and terrorism financing, and with the exception of the professional obligations provided for under the Advocacy Law promulgated under the Law No. 23 of 2006, failure to provide the information and documents required under this Law may not be justified on the grounds of professional confidentiality.

5. The office or firm shall ensure that that all the officials and employees can contact directly the Money Laundering Reporting Official in the office or firm, and that effective lines of communication are available to all employees at all times.

6. The official or employee shall file a report detailing their suspicions, regardless of the amount of the transaction under scrutiny, and irrespective of whether the office or firm has ended its relationship with the customer or client. This report shall also be compiled even if  this attempt to money launder or finance terrorism was unsuccessful.

7. The company or office shall provide all the necessary means and equipment to facilitate the submission of reports detailing cases of known or suspected money laundering and terrorism financing to UIF.

8. The office or firm shall not destroy records related to the customer or client who is under investigation in regard to suspicious transactions without prior consultation with the FIU.

 

Article 7

Internal Regulations concerning the Controls of Combating of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

The national and international law offices and firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall commit to the development and implementation of internal regulations and guidelines to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism including internal rules, procedures and regulations that enable the detection of suspicious transactions in relation to money laundering and facilitate reporting to “the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee.” These regulations shall be provided to the Secretariat of the Lawyers Admission Committee for approval by a Lawyers Admission Committee. These regulations may be approved,  providing that they take into account the following:

1. That the regulations facilitate the detection of processes that are not consistent with the size or nature of the activity of the customer or which are made with suspect customers in connection with the activities of money laundering or the financing of terrorist activity.

2. These regulation shall allow for the effective and accurate identification of customers, and shall ensure the accuracy of basic data provided by them, and shall enable the creation of accurate database for easy reference.

3. These regulations will make allowance for particular scrutiny of commercial transactions originating with or destined for persons or entities from countries that do not comply with international standards and recommendations issued by the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), or whose compliance with these standards is incomplete.

4. These regulations shall ensure that no money transfers shall be made in an illegal way and shall facilitate monitoring regulations and procedures to ensure the sound data collection and retrieval. The regulations shall allow for the retention of data on remittances, if any.

5. These regulations shall facilitate the implementation of national and international developments in relation to combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and shall allow for the implementation of instructions issued by the regulatory authorities in the State of Qatar and the Financial Information Unit, and instructions of “FATF” and regional Financial Action Task Force for the countries of the Middle East, to determine patterns of suspicious transactions in relation to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

6. According to Article 36 of Law No. 4 of 2010 on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, national and international law offices and firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall commit to appoint an employee to be responsible for implementing the provisions of the said Law and these instructions.

7. According to Article 19 of Law No. 4 of 2010 on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, national and international law offices and firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall commit to what is stated in the guide issued by the Financial Information Unit pursuant to said Article, which illustrates the pathways and mechanisms for informing the Unit of suspicious transactions in money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

 

Article 8

Awareness and Training Programmes

1. National and international law offices and firms licensed to work in the State of Qatar shall prepare and implement continuous training programmes for their employees and staff in order to increase their knowledge, compliance and commitment to these regulations and procedures.

2. Paying special attention to include these programmes methods of money laundering and terrorism financing, and how to detect and inform, and how to deal with customers suspected in their relationship therewith.

3. The records of all training programmes that have taken place over a period of not less than five years shall be kept, including the names of the trainees and their qualifications and the person giving the course, and the subjects of these courses.

4. Firms are obliged to  coordinate with the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee with regard to scientific and applied subjects for training programmes. This committee shall have the right to express an opinion thereon, and shall propose subjects and provide updates in the light of developments at the local, regional and international level.

5. The training curricula of lawyers established in accordance with Article 20 of the Advocacy Law shall include subjects related to the combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

 

Article 9

Sanctions and Discipline

Without prejudice to any more severe penalty provided by another law, in addition to comply with the obligations set forth by Law No. 23 of 2006 promulgating the Advocacy Law, complying with these instructions shall be one of the duties of the legal profession. The provisions of Article 65 of the Advocacy Law referred to above shall apply to those who violate these instructions.

 

Article 10

How to Send Reports of Suspicion

Reports on suspicious transactions shall be sent, in terms of the order of priority, by the following means:

1 – Via the electronic systems of the Financial Information Unit (for those institutions linked to the electronic system)

2 - Via e-mail, to the Financial InformationUnit.

3 - Via post to the Office of the Financial Information Unit: 07 Abdullah bin Jassim Street, Union Bank Building, Fifth Floor, Corniche Road, opposite to Qatar National Bank.

5 - By fax at: 44410327.

6 – The reporting bodies may given information about suspicious transactions by contacting the FIU via the telephone, using the number 4445629. This method should be limited to emergency cases..

7 - With each case, a written notification shall be submitted after the verbal reporting of suspicious transactions.

 

Annex 1

Confidential

Report of Suspicion

The Financial Information Unit

Sample of Suspicious Transaction Report

 

To: The Financial Information Unit

P. O Box 1234, Doha, Qatar

Fax: 44410327, Phone: 44456293

 

From: Law Office / Law Firm / International Law Firm

 

 

Phone:

 

Fax:

       
 

 

Suspicious transactions report based on Law No. 4 of 2010 on the combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism

 

Notifying Date:

    /   /20- -

Reference of The Financial Information Unit:

FIU    /    /20- -

Reference No.

 

 

1. Subject of a suspicious report

1.1 If the party notifying thereon is an individual, please fill in the following table:

 

 

Name(s)

 

Another Name(s)

 

Father's Name

 

Address

 

Number(s) Phone

 

Alias if applicable

Male:           Female:

Gender

 

Nationality

 

Passport No.

 

PIN

 

Date of Birth

 

Place of Birth

 

Profession

 

Workplace

 

 

1-2 If the party notifying thereon is firm, please fill in the following table:

 

 

Name

 

Registered Address

 

Commercial Register No.

 

Type of profession / activity

 

Other data

 

 

1-3 If the party notifying thereon is a trust fund, please fill in the following table:

 

 

Name of the Trust Fund

 

Nature and purpose of the Trust Fund

 

Place and date of the establishment of the Trust Fund

 

Identity of the founder(s)

 

Identity of the trustee(s)

 

Identity of the party(s) providing protection

 

Beneficiary or beneficiaries

 

Other data

 

 

 

2. Account(s) subject of suspicion

2-1 Account

 

 

Account No.

 

Existing at (name of financial institution)

 

Bank code

 

Account Type

Date of the account’s closing:

Date of account’s opening account:

Balance Date:

Balance:

 

 

2-2 Second Account

 

 

Account No.

 

Existing at (name of financial institution)

 

Bank code

 

Account Type

Date of the closing account:

Date of opening account:

Balance Date:

Balance:

 

 

3. Partners

1-3 Individuals

If the party notifying thereon is a partner, and the partner is an individual, please fill in the following table with information about the partner. If there are two or more partners and they are individuals, please attach the required documents to provide information about the other partner(s).

 

 

Name(s)

 

Another Name(s)

 

Father's Name

 

Alias if applicable

Male:           Female:

Gender

 

Nationality

 

 

 

Passport No.

 

 

 

PIN

 

Date of Birth

 

Place of Birth

 

Profession

 

Workplace

 

Reason of partnership with the reported party

 

 

 

2-3 Firms

If the party notifying thereon has a partner, and the partner is a firm, please fill in the following table with information about the partner. If there are two or more partners and they are firms, please attach the required documents to provide information about the other partner(s).

 

 

Name

 

Registered Address

 

Commercial Register No.

 

Type of Profession/ Activity

 

Other Data

 

Reason of partnership with the party notifying thereon

 

 

 

3.3 Trust funds

If the party notifying thereon has a partner and the partner is trust funds, please fill in the following table with information about the partner. If there are two or more partners and they are trust funds, please attach the required documents to provide information about the other partner(s).

 

 

Name of the Trust Fund

 

Nature and object of the Trust Fund

 

Place and date of the establishment of the Trust Fund

 

Identity of the founder(s)

 

Identity of the trustee(s)

 

Identity of the party(s) providing protection

 

Beneficiary or beneficiaries

 

Reason of partnership with the party notifying thereon

 

 

 

4.     Suspicion - please detail the basis for those suspicions  that have motivated this report

 

 

 

 

5.     Details of suspicious transactions

Type (check / cash / Swift)

 

Destination (Account, code / Bank code, the corporation, the account name)

Source (Account, code / Bank code, the corporation, the account name)

Amount

(currency)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Submitted by (Money Laundering Reporting Official - MLRO) Signature

 

 

 

 

Date of submission of the notifying report ---/---/20—A.D