e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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When Money is the Reason: Preliminary Evidence of Legal Business Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Obligations

Zaiton Hamin, Mohd Bahrin Othman and Saslina Kamaruddin

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 25, Issue S, January 2017

Keywords: Compliance, cost-benefit analysis, money laundering, obligations, privilege, rationality

Published on: 28 Jul 2017

Since 2004, legal practitioners in Malaysia are regarded as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime, with several statutory obligations imposed upon them involving record-keeping, customer due diligence, reporting suspicious transactions and implementing the compliance programme within their legal firms. However, official reports indicate that since then, the lawyers' compliance with such duties is rather dismal. It is within this context that this paper seeks to examine their rationale not conforming to their statutory obligations. This paper adopts a qualitative approach. Primary data is obtained from seven case studies of legal firms in the country, which is triangulated with t data from the Central Bank and the Bar Council. Preliminary findings suggest that apart from legal professional privilege and assurance of client confidentiality, business rationality, and the cost-benefit analysis significantly contribute to the unwillingness of lawyers to comply with their AML obligations.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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