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FinCEN Launches Regulatory Process For AML Regulation on Antiquities

  • Richard Marley
  • September 24, 2021
  • 2 minutes read
  • 113
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The ANPRM discusses how antiquities trade can be exploited by money launderers and terrorist financiers to launder illicit funds through the US financial system. 

FinCEN, the US financial intelligence unit, today published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the introduction of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations on the antique trading sector. 

In particular, the ANPRM has been issued to solicit public comment on a range of questions related to the implementation of amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding the trade in antiquities.  

This move marks the first step taken by FinCEN to implement Section 6110 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act), which became law on January 1, 2021. 

“This regulatory action demonstrates FinCEN’s continued commitment to implement the AML Act,” said Acting Director Himamauli Das. “I encourage industry and other stakeholders to comment on this ANPRM, which will strengthen the outcome of the rulemaking process.”

Authorities and experts have long raised concerns regarding the largely unregulated market of art and antiquities, stating that this area is ripe for exploitation by organized criminals and terrorist groups. In particular, the ANPRM cites how antiquities trade can be exploited by money launderers and terrorist financiers to launder illicit funds through the US financial system. 

Terrorist organizations, transnational criminal networks, and other fraudulent actors also seek to exploit antiquities to transfer value to acquire new sources of funds, evade detection, and launder proceeds from their illicit activities.  Some terrorist groups have generated revenue from permitting or facilitating the illegal extraction or trafficking of antiquities in territories where they operate, states the FinCEN. 

Comments are open for submission till October 25, 2021, for industry members and other interested parties, including casinos, depository institutions, the insurance industry, and other financial institutions. 

Suggested Read: Art Market in the Frame of Money Laundering