On August 18, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HK SFC) issued the following AML/CFT Circular to its members:
Combating Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction Activities
In view of the recent international developments regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), we would like to remind licensed corporations (“LCs”) and associated entities (“AEs”) to stay vigilant for possible activities or transactions that are suspected to be related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (“WMD”), as previously mentioned in our circular of 18 April 2013 (http://www.sfc.hk/edistributionWeb/gateway/EN/circular/aml/aml-regulations/doc?refNo=13EC12).
LCs and AEs should be aware of the scope and focus of relevant financial sanctions regimes and relevant designations by overseas authorities in relation to WMD in addition to those lists that we draw to the attention of LCs and AEs from time to time. LCs and AEs should also pay attention to relevant United Nations Security Council (“UNSC”) Resolutions, such as Resolution 1540 on Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Note 1 and the recently adopted resolution 2371 on the DPRK Note 2.
The provision of any services to customers, where any activities or transactions are suspected to be related to WMD proliferation, is an offence under section 4 of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Control of Provision of Services) Ordinance, Cap. 526 (WMD(CPS)O). Furthermore, in accordance with section 25A of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455), where LCs and AEs know or suspect that any property represents any proceeds of an indictable offence (which includes an offence under section 4 of WMD(CPS)O), they should file a suspicious transaction report with the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit.
LCs and AEs are reminded to refer to Chapter 6 of the Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (“AML Guideline”) Note 3 which contains guidance on the appropriate measures that LCs and AEs should take to ensure compliance with the regulations made under WMD(CPS)O, including the maintenance of a database for screening of names that may trigger suspicion.
Should you have any queries regarding the contents of this circular, please contact Ms Kiki Wong on 2231 1569.
HK SFC Notice
HK SFC Circular