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The annual conference of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) was held at the weekend in Diani, the President of LSK ensured they would not force any lawyers to report suspicious activity to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC).
The LSK annual conference gathers lawyers across a number of states to discuss and design news frameworks to engage lawyers and the wider communities to comply with AML and CFT regulations. They also design new frameworks to engage lawyers around the communities to comply with AML and CFT regulations.
During the press conference, LSK president, Eric Theuri, reassured lawyers that they would not be forced to report suspicious activities or clients’ involvement in illegal work to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC). Instead, they will create their own committee to supervise suspicious activities, and members will report to the committee designed by LSK rather than government departments.
The LSK also disclosed that it will create a self-regulatory department by amending the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2009. This will protect all the information shared by the clients and protect the client-lawyer relationship.
Mr Theuri also ensured that preventing money laundering is only possible with self-regulatory frameworks, further mentioning that “the central reporting point is the LSK, not a government regulatory body.” The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, noted that it would be crucial for the LSK to make sure that it adopts measures to increase awareness and competence to identify and stop money laundering and terrorist financing activities resulting from client relationships. The Cabinet Secretary stated, “this would enable LSK to monitor compliance with anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) obligations under the new law, which include the obligation to verify the legitimacy of funds offered by a client and to report any suspicions relating to the funds.” He also mentioned that the LSK and FRC should work together and place a framework which prevents money laundering so scammers can not use the profession to increase terrorist financing.