In June 2016, Ecuador promulgated the Law of Prevention,
Detection and Eradication of the Crime of Asset Laundering and the
Financing of Crimes ("Law"), which is a new version of
the previously repealed Law Against Asset Laundering that was
promulgated in 2005, which created the Financial Analysis Unit
– UIF, and that was later re-named the Law of Prevention,
Detection and Eradication of the Crime of Asset Laundering and
Financing of Crimes, and under which the Financial Analysis Unit
– UAF was created. The new Law went into effect on July 21,
and implements the following principal changes to the previous
anti-money laundering ("AML") regime:
The Financial Analysis Unit –
UAF was modified to become the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit
("FEAU"), which is now an entity with administrative,
financial and operational autonomy, attributes that the UAF
previously lacked. The FEAU is responsible for enforcing compliance
with the Law and is authorized to initiate and carry out
investigations, hold administrative proceedings and issue
sanctions. In contrast, its predecessor enforcement entity, the
Financial Analysis Unit, worked in collaboration with the
Superintendence for Companies, Stocks and Insurance and the
Superintendence of Banks, which were the entities ultimately
responsible for imposing sanctions for noncompliance.
It broadens the subjects obligated to
make reports, adding artistic promoters and raffle organizers. In
addition, it preserves the reporting obligations of the following
persons and entities: (1) branches of foreign banks, (2) stock
exchanges, (3) fund and trust administrators, (4) cooperatives,
foundations and non-governmental organizations, (5) persons and
entities that commercialize motor vehicles, ships and aircraft, (6)
international and national money transfer services; (7) national
and international postal shipping services; (8) postal services,
including their operators, agents and agencies; (9) tourism
agencies and tour operators; (10) individuals dedicated to
investment in real estate and construction; (11) race tracks; (12)
pawn shops; (13) jewel, metal and precious stones merchants; (14)
dealers of antiques and art; and (15) notaries.
It significantly decreases the fines
applicable for noncompliance. The fines for noncompliance under the
Law start at approximately USD 7,320.00 and may go up to twenty
times that amount. Under the previous law, the fines started at
approximately USD 20,000.
The Law was proposed by President Rafael Correa, who referenced
the United Nations Conventions on Drug Trafficking (1998) and
Organized Crime (2000), as motivating factors for its
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