Lower House approves provisions of money laundering bill

Lawmakers debate during a Lower House session on
Lawmakers debate during a Lower House session on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Photo: Amer Khalifa/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Lower House held a legislative session on Wednesday, in which some provisions of the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing bill for the year 2020 were approved. اضافة اعلان

The approval followed a lengthy discussion of the details of the bill.

Lower House Speaker Abdel-Munem Al-Oudat chaired the session, which was attended by Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and members of the Cabinet.

MP Khalil Attiyah argued that the bill lacks a “clear definition of money laundering,” while the Legal Committee also emphasized the need for a clearer definition of what activities constitute money laundering.

MP Khair Abu Saalik criticized provisions in the bill, stating that “some articles infringe on the jurisdiction of the judiciary.”

Controversy at previous sessions concerned whether the law, which requires adherence to decisions made by the UN Security Council, represents a violation of Jordan’s sovereignty.

The proposed legislation stipulates harsher penalties for money laundering and terrorism crimes financing, with the addition of detailed criminal penalties in the event that the notified bodies do not comply with the provisions of the law, as well as a specific penalty for violating the legislation related to the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions.

It entails tougher penalties for legal entities and includes the confiscation of proceeds for the crimes they commit.

In a deviation from the bill on the agenda, lawmaker Ali Al-Tarawneh argued that the government is neglecting Jordanians when it comes to public sector appointments through the Civil Service Bureau. He also highlighted the importance of tackling corruption in major Jordanian companies.

MP Hussein Al-Harassis seconded Tarawneh and urged the government not to underestimate the violations that are occurring in employments through the Civil Service Bureau.

Additionally, dozens of lawmakers took parliamentary memo calling for the release of those detained in connection with cases of free speech and opinion during this holy month, as Eid Al-Fitr approaches. Notably, the memo comes shortly after World Press Freedom Day.

Meanwhile, MP Ahmed Al-Qatawneh called on the government to declare the 2021 a drought year, noting that farmers across the Kingdom are complaining that their livestock are finding “nothing in the barren lands.”

For his part, MP Fawaz Al-Zoubi criticized private schools in Jordan, claiming that they “sucked the blood of the Jordanians during the COVID pandemic and its economic repercussions. Despite moving to online education, schools did not deduct or reduce tuition.”

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