The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Laws (Amendment) Act

Sep 29, 2023 | Investments, Law, Our Highlights

The Government of Kenya has effectively amended various laws in a bid to enhance various compliances per its association with various international organizations. According to the amendments under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, the act of a lawyer, notary, and other independent legal professional seeking to dissuade a client from engaging in illegal activity does not constitute the offense of tipping-off.

The amended legislation

The above legislation amends several statutes, which include Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, Banking Act, Central Bank of Kenya Act, Companies Act, Extradition (Commonwealth Countries) Act, Extradition (Contiguous and Foreign Countries) Act, Insurance Act, Law Society of Kenya Act, Limited Liability Partnership Act, Microfinance Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act, Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, State Corporations Act, and Capital Markets Act.

The purpose of the amendment

The amendments provide or enhance the application of the Know Your Customer (KYC); provide further definitions of the anti-money laundering (AML) laws; enhance supervisory obligations by various government/statutory agencies or bodies such as Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Financial Reporting Centre (FRC), Capital Markets Authority (CMA), among others; limitation on operations under corporate structures; extradition procedures; administrative sanctions; and information request.

Limitation of the Right

The amendments address limitations of the rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights to privacy, which may result in the issuance of search warrants, seizer of possessions, request of personal information (financial, family, or private affairs), communications, or interception for purposes of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of proceeds of crime, money laundering and financing terrorism.


There are various deterrent measures put in place, such as pecuniary penalties, which have been categorized to focus on juridical and natural persons. Corporate entities are exposed to various penalties, some going up to about Kenya Shillings Twenty Million (KES. 20,000,000), and natural persons to penalties not exceeding Kenya Shillings One Million (KES. 1,000,000). There are additional penalties not exceeding Kenya Shillings One Hundred Thousand (KES. 100,000) for continued noncompliance for each offense each day.

Other open-ended penalties include 50% of the transfer of funds in or outside Kenya in a manner that violates s 12 (3) of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.