President Thein Sein returned the Anti-Money Laundering Bill to the Union parliament on Monday (March 10) with remarks on the reduction of punishment for the bill, according to parliamentary sources.

The president said that prison terms for money laundering offences should be reduced from three years to one year under the existing law. When a conviction has been reached for such offences, the punishment should be at least one year and above under domestic law. The amendment should be consistent with international norms.

The findings of the joint bill committee pointed out that the remarks of the president were intended to be consistent with internationally prescribed anti-money laundering laws and suggested that the bill should be amended.

Section 40 of the bill says that the Customs Department has the right to arrest in accordance with Section 39 if offences are found with respect to failure to declare earnings, concealment, money laundering, or suspicious related cases involving money and transferrable instruments or valuables.

Regarding enquiry and investigation into properties, the provisions prescribed in the marine custom act can be practiced, if necessary. The joint bill committee agreed with the remarks of the president, saying that his revisions suggested that the bill could be perfected.

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