Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Oman
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|Money laundering in Oman is not a significant problem, as it is not a regional or offshore financial center. Despite this, Oman has shown a continued effort to strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime.
In March 2002, Royal Decree No. 34/2002 was issued, enacting the Law of Money Laundering. The new law improved existing money laundering regulations by detailing bank responsibilities, widening the definition of money laundering to include funds obtained through any criminal means, and providing for the seizure of assets and other penalties.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP), in coordination with the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), is responsible for investigating money laundering activities. Banks are required to appropriately identify their customers and report all suspicious transactions. Compliance personnel are now present in all banks.
Overall, the Government of Oman maintains a strong and effective regulatory regime with respect to its formal financial institutions.
In 2010, the Central Bank of Oman issued the Law of Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing. This latest step toward money laundering prevention is meant to unify the country's AML legislation while increasing its effectiveness.
AML Training in Oman
The Law of Money Laundering, enacted by royal decree in 2002, requires financial institutions in Oman to create and implement training programs to combat money laundering and other illicit financial activities in the country.
The Economy of Oman
Oman has a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources, which generates 77% of government revenue. Oman's GDP (PPP) is $163.6 billion (2014 est.) and is ranked 6th out of 15 countries in the Middle East/North Africa Region as of 2015. Even so, increases in social welfare benefits, particularly since the Arab Spring, have challenged the government's ability to effectively balance its budget as oil prices decline.
Banking in Oman
Established in 1974, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) is responsible for maintaining the internal and external value of the national currency and is also the single integrated regulator of Oman's financial services industry.
The CBO aims to provide monetary and financial stability and promote a sound and progressive financial sector to achieve continued economic growth for the benefit of Oman.
The CBO issues the national currency, supervises its circulation, preserves its value, and manages foreign assets. In addition to its many other duties, the Central Bank also acts as the advisor to the government in economic and financial matters.
The currency of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). The rial is divided into 1,000 baisa. Banknotes are available in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 rials and in 100 and 200 baisa. Coins are available in 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 baisa, ¼, ½ rial denominations.
Other Key Statistics of Oman
Time Zone: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE.
Population: 3, 219, 775 (July 2014 est.)
Labor Force: 968,800 (2007 est.).
Languages Spoken: Arabic is the official language. English, Baluchi, Urdu and Indian dialects are also spoken.
Trade Organizations: Oman is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).