Amendments to Taiwan’s Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法) took effect today, and some of the amendments relate to the real estate industry, which could affect purchases around the country. The Ministry of Interior, however, has said that the measures will not have an effect on real estate deals.
The new amendments are expected to tighten controls to help fight money laundering, Apple Daily reported. Those affected by the amendments include accountants, attorneys, border control officials, financial institutions, jewelers, land administration agents, public notaries, politically exposed persons and real estate agents.
According to the new regulations, real estate appraisers and brokers must confirm and retain customer identity information. In case the client is politically connected, the sources of money involved need to be reviewed more carefully. All relevant documents from transactions must be retained.
If the real estate brokers find a person’s identity suspicious or cannot confirm the source of large sums of money, particularly if the person pays in cash, they should refer the case to authorities for criminal investigation. This could also prevent third-parties from becoming involved in real estate transactions to hide the identity of buyers and sellers.
As part of Taiwan’s drive to meet international standards in fighting money laundering, it signed an agreement in May with Vatican City to cooperate on anti-money laundering investigations.