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AML/CTF Compliance in Brunei


Money laundering and terrorism financing laws in Brunei?

In Brunei, money laundering is a serious offence and is regulated primarily under the money laundering and terrorism financing laws are regulated primarily under the Anti-Money Laundering Order (AMLO) and the Terrorism Financing (Suppression of Financing of Terrorism) Order (TFSO).


Key obligations that reporting entities have under Brunei laws?

The key obligations under the AMLO and TFSO  include:

  • Customer due diligence (CDD) - regulated entities, including banks, financial institutions, money services businesses, and other designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), are required to conduct customer due diligence. This involves verifying the identity of customers, obtaining information on the purpose and nature of the business relationship, and assessing the risk associated with each customer.
  • Reporting of suspicious transactions - where entities are obligated to report any suspicious transactions or activities that may be related to money laundering or terrorist financing to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
  • Compliance programs -.regulated entities are expected to establish and implement effective Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) compliance programs. These programs should include internal policies, procedures, and controls to detect, prevent, and report money laundering and terrorism financing activities. Regular staff training and independent audits are also important components of these programs.
  • Record-keeping - regulated entities are required to maintain records of transactions, customer identification information, and supporting documentation for a period of at least five years. These records should be easily accessible for examination by regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies.


ML/TF regulators in Brunei and what functions do they perform?

In Brunei, the regulators responsible for combating money laundering and terrorism financing are the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Brunei Darussalam Monetary Authority (AMBD)

The Financial Intelligence Unit is the primary regulatory body responsible for receiving, analysing, and disseminating suspicious transaction reports and other financial intelligence related to money laundering and terrorism financing. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General's Chambers. The FIU works closely with domestic and international law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to combat illicit financial activities.

The Brunei Darussalam Monetary Authority is the central bank of Brunei and is responsible for maintaining the stability and integrity of the financial system. It plays a vital role in implementing and enforcing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) regulations. The AMBD works in collaboration with other government agencies, including the FIU, to ensure compliance with AML/CFT measures and to enhance the effectiveness of the financial sector in combating illicit activities.

Brunei actively cooperates with international counterparts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. This includes exchanging information, cooperating on investigations, and providing assistance to other jurisdictions when requested.


Industry sectors subject to ML/TF regulations?

In Brunei, the main industry sectors that are regulated include:

Financial Institutions

Includes banks, credit unions, insurance companies, investment firms, money services businesses, and other entities involved in financial transactions.

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Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs)

Encompasses a range of professions and industries that may be vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing risks including real estate agents, lawyers, accountants, dealers in precious metals and stones, trust and company service providers, and casinos.

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Money Transfer and Remittance Services

Companies engaged in money transfer and remittance services are subject to specific regulations to prevent illicit financial flows.

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Capital Market Intermediaries

Entities operating in the securities market, such as stockbrokers, investment advisers, and fund managers, are subject to AML/CFT regulations to safeguard the integrity of capital markets.

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Precious Metal and Jewelry Dealers

Businesses involved in the trade of precious metals, gemstones, and jewellery are regulated to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

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Casinos and Gambling Institutions

Casinos and gambling institutions are regulated to mitigate the risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing.

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Penalties for non-compliance with AML/CTF laws?

In Brunei, the penalties for non-compliance with money laundering and terrorism financing laws can vary depending on the specific offence committed and the severity and nature of the violation. Here are some potential penalties that may apply:

  • Administrative Penalties - these can involve fines, warnings, or other administrative measures imposed by regulatory authorities like the FIU or the AMBD.
  • Criminal Penalties - In cases of serious non-compliance or intentional money laundering or terrorist financing activities, criminal penalties may apply. These penalties can include imprisonment, substantial fines, or both.
  • Regulatory Actions - regulatory authorities may take enforcement actions against individuals or entities found to be in violation of AML/CTF laws including revoking licences, suspending operations, or imposing restrictions on certain activities.


Largest fines for non-compliance with AML/CTF laws?

At the time of writing there were no published examples of fines for non-compliance with the AML/CTF laws in Brunei which are published on the FIU’s website -