Parliament: Dealers of precious stones, metals have to register with MinLaw in bid to fight money laundering and terrorism financing

SINGAPORE – Jewellery retailers and dealers of precious metals and stones, including second-hand goods dealers and auction houses, will have to register with the Ministry of Law under proposed guidelines for the industry.

All regulated dealers of precious stones and metals, like diamonds, jade, silver and gold, will have to register with the ministry under the Precious Stones and Precious Metals (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Bill tabled in Parliament on Monday (Jan 14).

Registration is expected to start in the second quarter of this year, when about 2,500 such dealers will have six months to do so once the Bill comes into effect.

Under the Bill, tabled for the first time by Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong, dealers will have to conduct stricter customer due diligence checks when handling transactions, as part of efforts to boost Singapore’s standards of anti-money laundering and countering the finance of terrorism.

This includes performing risk assessments posed by customers and transactions and also having internal procedures to mitigate these risks.

This will combat crime and improve security both domestically and globally, said the ministry in a statement.

The portability of precious stones and metals and the ease of converting their high value into cash expose the sector to the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing, it added.

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