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Combat money laundering – Do your part!

The real estate agency industry is one of the important gatekeepers to counter the threat of money laundering and terrorism financing.

Property transactions could be used by criminals and terrorist groups to move their funds in an attempt to conceal criminal proceeds or perpetuate criminal deeds. As agents, you help your clients to transact properties and this could involve the movement of large amounts of funds, sometimes across international boundaries.

Hence, you play a big part in combating money laundering and terrorism financing threats!

What to note:

Under the Practice Circular 04-15 on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, property agencies and agents are required to:

  • Verify your clients' identities
  • Ask your clients to complete the Customer's Particulars Form for all transactions
  • Assess whether there is reason to suspect if your client is involved in money laundering and terrorism financing activities

If there is suspicion of money laundering or terrorism financing activity, or if there are doubts about a customer's particulars:

  • Conduct Customer Due Diligence checks and screen your prospective clients. Ensure that you do not deal with individuals and entities known or suspected to be related to a terrorist or a terrorist organisation
  • Lodge a Suspicious Transaction Report to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office of Commercial Affairs Department
Refer to the e-guide for the checklist on the CDD measures against money laundering and terrorism financing

Failure to disclose such knowledge, suspicion, or other related information constitutes an offence which is punishable by a fine not exceeding $20,000.

Useful resources for conducting Customer Due Diligence (CDD) checks:

For agents:

  • Use the Electronic Salespersons Guide. Refer to the CDD Flow Chart and checklist on CDD measures to assist you in carrying out the measures.

For KEOs:

  • Display the poster at your office premises. It lists the suspicious indicators of money laundering and terrorism financing activities and reminds agents on the procedures for lodging Suspicious Transaction Reports.