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India approves amendment to strike against money laundering

By Xinhua,

New Delhi : The Indian government Thursday approved the amendment of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which makes it mandatory for financial intermediaries to report all suspected transactions involving international transfers.

Under the amendment, In a tough measure against money laundering, casinos, international credit card payment gateways such as VISA and MasterCard, full-fledged money changers and money transfer service providers such as the Western Union will be brought under the purview of Indian laws.

A new category of offences having cross-border implications is also to be added to the provisions of the act to prevent the transfer of funds related to international crime.

Indian Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said: “the Amendment Bill will enable the government to meet certain domestic needs and international obligations.”

Under the act in its present form, only banks and other financial institutions are mandated to report suspicious transactions regularly to the financial intelligent unit set up under the Finance Ministry. After scrutiny, such transactions are forwarded by the unit to enforcement agencies for action.

The amendment came after reports of transfer of funds through credit cards by a number of persons with a criminal background and certain traders are engaged in under-invoicing of export bills.