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Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) has called for a review of the legislation that governs real estate investments to combat money laundering in the sector.
The OCCI held a Ramadan Nights event last week to discuss money laundering and its repercussions on the real estate sector. At the event, Redha bin Juma al Saleh, chairman of OCCI, said that money laundering is a crime that threatens global economies.
The discussion was held under the auspices of H.H Sayyid Mohammed bin Salim al Said, Chief of Protocol Department, Foreign Ministry.
“The crime of money laundering, which is the transfer of funds derived from the proceeds of crime with the aim of concealing and legitimising its illegal source, is threatening global economies,” Saleh said.
“Funds obtained from money laundering represent a purchasing power that is not generated by real economic activity, and therefore it is a source of pressure on domestic prices and leads to inflationary pressures that threaten the future of economic and social development.“
According to the OCCI chairman, the real estate sector is used by those involved in money laundering crimes. “This requires awareness of the methods used by money launderers to enter this vital sector, especially considering many countries grant residency to real estate investors.”
Saleh stressed the need of reviewing the legislation governing real estate investments and secure the sector from these crimes. “OCCI plays a major role in addressing this crime through awareness-raising efforts and emphasising caution and attention in dealings, before concluding foreign partnerships.”
On his part, Salim bin Nasser al Busaidi, a member of the Public Prosecution, said the judicial authority has dealt with four crimes related to money laundering this year and 14 in 2021.
According to the news source, he informed that crimes of this nature decreased in the past two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global financial crisis and a noticeable drop in economic movement.
“Oman has a strong anti-money laundering law. The sultanate also has several internal legislations and regulations that regulate the work of financial and non-financial institutions which are obliged to report all suspicions related to the crime of money laundering,” said Busaidi.