Colombia has seen how organized crime networks cause deep damage to their citizenship and projected a negative image of the country.
The various Governments of the nation have signed international conventions to ensure the prosecution of numerous crimes. Following the famous maxim of “follow the money”, the legislation also seeks to pursue the assets derived from criminal activities, preventing your “wash” o “money-laundering” and making the financing of terrorism.
In this context, the past 19 February of the 2014, the Superintendency of companies, dependent of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and tourism, approved the “Circular external 304-000001” It imposes a series of obligations on companies that are already under surveillance.
Money laundering, concept and consequences
By money laundering, laundering money or money laundering, We understand all the activities carried out with the aim of provide a mask of legality to the funds obtained through illicit activities.
Criminal networks have achieved so funds available and not traceable to strengthen their markets and shielding against the fiscal persecution by the authorities. These funds are used to expand their illegal businesses and achieve greater impunity for the crimes committed.
Most networks involved in money laundering moving in areas such as drug trafficking, extortion, the trafficking in human beings, the illegal sale of weapons, and the sexual exploitation, usually alternating or participating simultaneously in several areas.
Scope of application of the “Circular external 304-000001 of 19 February 2014”
This circular is addressed to partners, Administrators and shareholders of entities supervised by the Superintendency of societies, but it is of mandatory in companies that 31 December of 2013 They recorded earnings equal to or greater to 160.000 legal monthly minimum wages in force (SMMLV). The implementation of the circular has a deadline the 31 December of the 2014.
Measures to be adopted by the undertakings concerned
Most of them target the legal representatives of the companies monitored, those who must designing the company's specific policy to comply with circular and present the draft this policy to the Board of directors or failing to the social body of the company. In addition, the legal representative will be responsible for the implementation of the project, providing human and material resources to do so.
It should also report to the Board of Directors or the social body, as a minimum Once a year. The company will communicate the policy to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing partners and employees and the latter must train them to detect suspicious practices.
For its part, tax reviewer will oversee the implementation of the policy of prevention, It referred in its opinions.
The company will determine the controls that regulate the maximum cash that can be used in transactions with suppliers and customers and include in its management report early 2015 advances in the internal implementation of the circular.
Likely to be considered suspicious activities
Circular provides examples of activities being carried out by companies, They include the risk of be working, directly or indirectly, with a plot of money-laundering and criminal networks:
The purchase of goods for amounts much lower than their market value; the admission of shareholders or new members without corroborating the origin of their resources or the use of high amounts of cash without justification, They show little zeal for the fulfillment of the circular.
Companies should exercise caution and optimize customer knowledge, suppliers, public servants to do their commercial work.
Money laundering is a serious crime that carries severe penalties. It is very important that companies may be susceptible of suspected or, by its Constitution, present possibilities of engaging in an activity that can be considered money-laundering currency, take appropriate measures to prevent these situations and thus guard against sanctions that could jeopardize both your image, as their viability.