Money-laundering laws to cover casinos and credit cards

Money changers, money transfer service providers such as Western Union and credit card payment gateways like VISA and MasterCard will now come under the ambit of India’s anti-money laundering laws.

A bill to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal.

After the Amendment Bill is passed by Parliament and comes into effect, businesses like casinos would also come under legal obligation to report their activities in the country. For fighting the menace of terrorism, the bill introduces new category of offences which have cross-border implications.

The draft legislation also empowers the Enforcement Directorate „to search premises immediately after the offence is committed“. The investigating agency can attach any property and search a person after completing the probe. It can enhance the period of provisional attachment of property from 90 days to 150 days.

Under the provision of the bill, the retirement age of the chairman and members of the adjucating authority would be raised from 62 years to 65 years.