Stricter anti money-laundering reforms introduced for real estate agents and lawyers

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Real estate agents, lawyers and accountants will soon face tougher anti-money-laundering rules under a bill introduced to Parliament today.

The reforms will require companies to put in place systems which guard against money laundering and to carry out due diligence on customers, including identity verification.

A first tranche of reforms was passed in 2013 and covered banks, financial services and casinos.

The bill introduced today will extend anti money-laundering obligations to lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, the sports and betting industry, and businesses that deal in high value goods such as cars, jewellery or art.

The reforms were fast-tracked following the release of the Panama Papers last year, which raised concerns about the use of New Zealand’s foreign trusts to hide money.

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