Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Chile
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|Money laundering in Chile is a growing issue that is primarily narcotics-related. Chile criminalized money laundering under an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Law in 1995, and later updated the Law in 2003 to expand upon predicate offenses. In addition to narcotics trafficking, which was criminalized in the original AML Law, offenses include terrorism in any form (including the financing of terrorism), illegal arms trafficking, corruption, and fraud. In December 2009, law No. 20.393 was published, establishing the penal responsibility of legal entities relating to the crimes of money laundering, terrorist financing, and bribery.
The Law also established Chile’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Originally, Chile’s FIU was called the Department for the Control of Illicit Drugs. Under the revised 2003 Law, Chile’s FIU was renamed the Unidad de Análisis Financiero (UAF). The UAF is responsible for collecting and analyzing all Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs). Financial institutions in Chile are required to follow a Know Your Customer (KYC) policy in order to identify customers with checking accounts.
In an attempt to strengthen its AML policies, Chile became a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD) Experts Group to Control Money Laundering and the Financial Action Task Force of Latin American (GAFILAT). The UAF joined the Egmont Group, a multinational network of FIUs from around the world, in 2004, furthering the country’s ability to combat against money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Economy of Chile
Chile enjoys the highest degree of economic freedom in the South and Central America/Caribbean region. Chile's economy s market-oriented with high levels of foreign trade. Chile is also home to the world’s largest copper producing company, Corporacion Del Cobre-Chile (CODELCO), which has led to a surge in copper prices and subsequent economic growth. Forestry and wood products, wine, fresh fruit, and seafood also account for a large portion of Chile’s economy.
Chile’s trade liberalization was heightened after it signed a free trade agreement with the United States that took effect in 2004. Chile currently has 22 trade agreements covering 60 countries including agreements with the European Union, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico.
Banking in Chile
Established in 1925, the Banco Central de Chile is the country’s central bank. The Central Bank plays a huge role in preserving Chile’s economy by maintaining monetary policy, protecting the value and stability of the national currency, and seeking to keep inflation low and stable.
The Banco Central de Chile’s other functions include ensuring the normal functioning of domestic and external payments and issuing Chilean banknotes and coins. The banks and financial institutions of Chile are some of the strongest in South America.
Currency in Chile
The Peso is the official currency of Chile, sharing the same symbol as the United States dollar sign. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos, although one-peso coins are fast disappearing and fives and tens are uncommon. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 and 20000 pesos.
Any notes that are in poor condition are withdrawn from circulation by the Banco Central de Chile. If a banknote has been mutilated but still contains more than half of the original text, it can be taken to the Bank and exchanged for its full value.
Other Key Statistics of Chile
Time Zone: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
Daylight Savings Time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March.
Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru.
Population: 17,363,894 (July 2014 est.)
Labor Force: 8.514 million (2014 est.). Approximately 23% work in industry, 63.9% in services, and 13.2% in agriculture. The unemployment rate is approximately 6.5% (2014 est.).
Languages Spoken: Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, and English.