The Finance Act, 2019 has introduced significant amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PLMA), 2002. Through the amendments, the government addresses ambiguities and loopholes in the anti-money laundering law. These include widening the scope of ‘proceeds of crime’ to include properties and assets created, derived or obtained through any criminal activity related to the scheduled PLMA offence (even where not under the PMLA itself). Additionally, “a person shall be guilty of money laundering if such person is found to have directly or indirectly attempted to indulge or knowingly assisted or knowingly is a party or is actually involved in”.… in concealing, possessing, acquiring or using a property connected with proceeds of crime. The amendment also clarifies the continuing nature of money laundering offences (for instance, the commission of the offence will run for as long as the offender is enjoying the proceeds of crime).
The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman noted that, in total, eight amendments were made to the PLMA, 2002, of which six are explanations to existing clauses focused on eliminating existing ‘grey areas or ambiguities.’
These changes make the existing anti-money laundering regime clearer, stricter and better equipped to tackle financial crime.
See Finance Act, 2019 here