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President Bashar Assad, President of Syrian Arab Republic issued in September 2003 the Legislative Decree No. 59. And in line with the international requirements and developments the Legislative Decree 33 for the year 2005 was issued by Mr. President on 1st of May 2005 to replace the previous one.

Decree No. 33 for 2005 Criminalizes money laundering resulting from drug crimes, terrorism crimes, illicit manufacturing and trading in weapons, illegal transferring of immigrants, piracy, kidnapping, organized prostitution, trading in persons and children, illicit trading in human organs, stealing of: nuclear, chemical, germ or toxic materials, or smuggling or illegal trading in it, as well as stealing, embezzlement and seizure of public or private funds by any way of burglary, robbery or by fraudulent means, or illegal transfer of it through computer systems, currency or other means of payments, government bonds, securities or official documents Ďcounterfeit, antiquities and cultural propertyís theft  or illicit trading in it, bribery and blackmail crimes, smuggling crimes and, the use of registered trademarks by non-owners, or imitation of intellectual property rights.

As well as, the legislative Decree 33 for 2005 Criminalizes financing of terrorism, as it considered it as any act intending to provide or collect funds by any means, directly or indirectly, from legal or illicit sources, to be used in a terrorist act within the territory of Syrian Arab Republic or abroad.

Legislative Decree 33 for 2005 established an independent commission in the Central Bank of Syria, with judicial status called ę Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism commissionĽ that has a legal personality, with its task defined as the following:

A.    To receive suspicious transactions (reports) and other information relating to money laundering or financing of terrorism and to analyze it.

B.     To conduct financial investigations regarding transactions that are suspected to be involving laundering of illegal funds or financing of terrorism.

C.     To provide judicial and other authorities with the requested information related to Legislative Decree 33/2005.

D.    To put procedures and specific forms in order to implement the provisions of Legislative Decree 33/2005 and supervise its implementation.

E.     To adopt rules of information exchange regarding information available at the financial data collecting unit with counterparts in other countries.

 

The composition of Committee of the Management

-  Governor of Central Bank of Syria.                                                 President

-  First Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Syria.                            Vice-President

-  The Supervisor Director of Banking Supervision Directorate

     Or the Director of the Supervision Directorate on his behalf

      in his absence.                                                                            Member

-  Mr. Mohamed Samir Tabakh Vice President of

         Court of Cassation or his delegate in his absence.                    Member

-  Mr. Bassam Abdul-Nabi, Deputy Minister of Finance.                  Member      

-   Ambassador Tammam Sulaiman, Director of

          International Organizations and Conferences Directorate.        Member

-  Major General Mohammed Dib Darwisheh

         Director of Crimes Investigation Directorate.                            Member

-  Mr. Bashir Hazza Director of Companies

      Directorate at the Ministry of Economy and Trade.                    Member

-  Dr. Mamon Hamdan a representative of

     The securities and financial markets.                                            Member

-  Mr. Yasser Al Hajj, Director of Anti-smuggling Directorate

     At General Customs Directorate.                                                Member

-  Dr. May Mahrzee.                                                                        Member

Commissionís Managerial Committee assigns one of the bankís auditors of the banking supervision department as a secretary, to be dedicated to do the job the commission assigns him to, and to carry out its decisions, and to directly supervise, under the supervision of the Chairman of the Commission, the units of the Commission that consists of:

         Investigation Unit

          financial data collecting unit

         Compliance Unit

         Information Unit

 

The chairman of the commission, members of the Commissionís Managerial Committee, its secretary, members of itsí units, all of its employees and whom are assigned to work for the commission, they benefit immunity rights,  they canít be prosecuted or pursued for any civil or criminal responsibility related to doing their duties set forth in Legislative Decree 33/2005. As well as, banking and financial institutions, other institutions responsible for reporting, their managers and staff who would -in good well- report and reveal suspicious transactions that they suspect to involve money laundering or financing of terrorism, they all have the same immunity.

 

1- Tasks of The Commission:

Article 7 of Legislative Decree No. 33 for 2005 defined the tasks of the commission, as follows:

F.      To receive suspicious transactions reports and other information relating to money laundering or financing of terrorism, and to analyze it.

G.    To conduct financial investigations regarding transactions suspected to be involving illegal laundering of funds or financing of terrorism.

H.    To provide judicial and other authorities with the requested information related to Legislative Decree 33/2005.

I.       To set procedures and specific forms in order to implement the provisions of Legislative Decree 33/2005 and supervise its implementation.

J.       To adopt rules of information exchange regarding information available at the financial data collecting unit with counterparts in other countries, according to the rules and procedures set by Syrian laws and regulations, international conventions, regional or bilateral agreements that Syria is a party in, or on the basis of

Reciprocity.

2- Members of Commissionís Managerial Committee

1-   The Managerial Committee of the Commission is composed of:

2-   - Dr. Adeeb Mayaleh, Governor of Central Bank of Syria.               chairman

3-    In his absence, Mr. Taysir Irbini the First Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Syria will substitute himÖ

4-   And the membership of:

5-   - Dr. George Ozon Second Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Syria, supervisor of Banking Supervision Department.

6-    In his absence, the Director of Banking Supervision Department will substitute himÖ

7-   - Judge Mohammed Sameer Al. Tabbakh                                                                  

8-    In his absence, Judge Mohammed Al. Khateeb will substitute himÖ

9-   - Mr. Bassam Abdelnabi, Deputy Minister of Finance.

10-  - General Mohammed Ali Saleh, Legal and financial and banking expert.

 The functions of the Commissionís Managerial Committee:

1.      To name the secretary of the commission from one of the auditors of the Banking Supervision Department.

2.      To adopt rules of exchanging information with counterparts in other countries.

3.      To join agreements or memoranda of understanding with their foreign counterparts.

4.      To propos the bylaw of the Commission and its units.

5.      To take the decision of freezing, for a period of 12 days non- renewed.

6.      To request the Secretary to conduct investigations on behalf of foreign counterparts parties.

7.      To determine the truth of the evidence on suspicious transactions.

8.      To lift banking secrecy in favor of the respective judicial authorities.

9.      To request the Secretary to provide the judicial authorities and other relative authorities with the available information.

10.  To adopt the procedures and specific forms in order to implement the provisions of Legislative Decree No. 33/2005.

11.  To receive reports from the Compliance Unit on financial institutions, banks and other institutions regarding the implementation of their commitments in combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.

12.  To approve all matters related to the commission and its units.

The tasks of the chairman of the Commission:

11-  To supervise the work of the Commission.

12-  To receive suspicious transactions reports.

13-  To receive requests for information, made by Syrian authorities related to the implementation of the provisions of Legislative Decree and their foreign counterparts,  and forward it to the secretary to be submitted in the Commissionís Managerial Committee meeting.

14-  To demand the respective authorities to freeze the accounts of suspects whose names appear on lists of the United Nations and forwarded through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to implement the international obligations of Syria.

15-  To demand all Syrian official authorities (judicial, administrative, financial and security) or their foreign counterparts to provide the commission with information and details on its work and investigations. Or to mandate an appropriate party to do so.

16-  To Sign on behalf of the commission on all the agreements and memorandums of understanding made with foreign counterparts to exchange information, and offer assistance regarding combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, or mandated whom he sees as equivalent to do so.

17-  To represent the commission before the judiciary.

18-  To demand banks a temporary freezing of suspicious account/s for six working days, non-renewable.

3- Commissionís secretary

3-1 the secretary of the Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism commission, Mr. Basil Saleh.

His duties include:

1.      Direct supervision of the units and all its employees and who are assigned to work by it.

2.      To receive all of the suspicious transactions reports through the chairman of the Commission.

3.      To conduct investigations and analysis of information on suspicious transactions, either directly or by the Investigation Unit, or by his delegate.

4.      To propos the head of the commission to freeze the suspicious account/s for six working days, non-renewable.

5.      To receive the results of the investigation and to submit it to the Managerial Committee of the commission after the feedback.

6.      To prepare reports assigned by the Commissionís Managerial Committee or its Chairman.

7.      After its approval, intimation of decisions of the Committee to the concerned authorities

8.      To implement and follow up the decisions of the Managerial Committee through the specialized units.

9.      To follow-up administrative and training issues of the staff of the committee.

10.  To follow-up local and foreign laws and regulations related to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing, and to recommend the Managerial Committee of the commission to amend those applied in Syrian Arab Republic.

3-2 Investigation Unit

 Its tasks include:

1-   To audit and investigate information received from the financial data collecting Unit, or based on banks, financial institutions or third parties report.

2-   To gather evidence about transactions suspected to be of a money-laundering offense or financing of terrorism.

3-   To inform the Commissionís Managerial Committee, through its Secretary, with the results of investigations relating to suspected transactions.

4-   To inform the financial information Unit with the reports prepared on suspicious accounts and transactions in order to submit the information enclosed in the reports within its data base.

5-   To inform the Compliance Unit with reports prepared on suspicious accounts and transactions in order to be taken into account when carrying out its duties.

3-3  Financial data collecting unit

Its tasks include:

1.   To gather information from different internal and external sources about operations, those are likely to be an offense of money laundering or financing of terrorism.

2.   To analyze and compare this information with previous available information in order to confirm the doubt or to deny it.

3.   To report information and ongoing analysis of them to the Secretary of the Commission to be rechecked and investigated.

4.   To follow-up the results of the ongoing investigations, and keep the information available about operations and investigations at its electronic data base, in a secure and confidential way.

5.   To establish an operations data base, according to sectoral and geographic basis, and to the names of persons involved or suspected to be of involvement in money laundering operations, and to the nature of suspicious transactions, and to data sources.

6.   To document and keep local or regional verdicts against persons convicted of crimes of money laundering or terrorism financing.

7.   To prepare periodic and analytic reports about received information.

8.   To work on establishing a special web site for the commission in coordination with the information Technology unit and Syrian Central Bank web site management.

9.   To following up the laws and regulations aimed at local and foreign anti-money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and the procedures of auditing banking and financial operations. And to make recommendations to amend the relevant law and regulations.

10.  To exchange information with counterpart agencies in Arab and foreign countries through the secretary under the supervision of the chairman of the commission.

3-4  Compliance Unit

Its tasks include:

1.      To ensure, at the command of the Commissionís Managerial Committee, banks and financial and other institutions compliance with their obligations to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

2.      To prepare periodic reports showing the banks and financial and other institutions referred to in Articles IV and V of the Legislative Decree, observance with those actions and obligations.

3.      To inform the Managerial Committee of the Commission, on a regular basis and by the Secretary, with reports they prepare about the compliance of these banks and institutions to the actions and obligations.

4.      To study reports prepared by the Banking Supervision Department and banks and other partsí internal auditors on the Banks compliance with the imposed obligations regarding combating money laundering and terrorism financing, and to prepare summaries of them to be submitted to the commissionís Managerial Committee through the Secretary.

5.      To supply Financial data collecting Unit with the reports it prepares in order to be entered in its database.

6.      To inform the Investigation Unit with the compliance of banks and financial and other interested institutions with the obligations and procedures imposed on them.

7.      To propos and recommend the Commissionís Managerial Committee, through the Secretary of the Commission, to activate the auditing operations and to modify the procedures and the systems of auditing.

3-5 Information Technology Unit:

Its tasks include:

1-      To prepare and activate the main server, computers and all the technical devices.

2-      To create, update and maintain software programs required for the unitsí function, data base, security and surveillance devices.

3-      To establish information and programs security procedures, and to ensure their effectiveness.

4-   To work on establishing a special web site for the commission in coordination with the information Technology unit and the Syrian Central Bank web site management.

5-   To study and implement programs to exchange information with local and external authorities concerned with combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.

6-   To provide technical assistance to the auditors of investigation and Compliance units during the execution of their duties.