On January 8, the Executive branch enacted Law No. 13,974 transferring the Financial Activities Control Council (Coaf, for its acronym in Spanish) from the Ministry of Economy to the Central Bank. The law also restructures the way the entity will operate to prevent and tackle money laundering.
The text establishes the obligation for the 12 members of the Coaf Plenary to be officials with “an impeccable reputation and knowledge of prevention and combating money laundering,” with the avowed intention of avoiding political appointments to the body. It also lays down a number of prohibitions for Coaf members, who may neither provide nor disclose information obtained in the course of their work, unless the recipient has legal authority to access such data.
Noncompliance with this rule is punishable by a fine and a one to four year prison sentence. Additionally, Coaf members are not allowed to:
opine on issues within their field of expertise, beyond their functional assignments, or offer advice to legal entities;
express, through any medium, an opinion on a case pending before the Coaf;
be involved, as head, administrator, manager or in a proxy role, in companies operating in areas related to Coaf’s activities.
The law also establishes the gradual transfer of administrative procedures and contracts from the Ministry of Economy to the Central Bank.