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Sri Lankan Law Forum » Criminal Law Forum » What are the predicate offences/unlawful activities of money laundering?

What are the predicate offences/unlawful activities of money laundering?

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My Lawyer


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The criminal activity which generated the proceeds is called a predicate offence or underlying crime in money laundering and when such funds are laundered offence of money laundering will occur. In early stages, the underlying crime was limited to drug trafficking offences. However, the international community has developed the view that underlying offence of money laundering should go beyond the drug trafficking offences and therefore expanded to cover 20 designated categories of offences that must be included as underlying offence/predicate offence for money laundering.

What are the predicate offences of money laundering in Sri Lanka?

As per the Prevention of Money Laundering Act No 5 of 2006 an “Unlawful activity” means any act which constitutes an offence under;

- The Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Chapter 218);
- Any law or regulation for the time being in force relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism;
- The Bribery Act (Chapter 26);
- The Firearms Ordinance (Chapter 182), the Explosives Ordinance (Chapter 183) or the Offensive Weapons Act, No. 18 of 1966.
- The Exchange Control Act (Chapter 423), and any Rules, Orders or Regulations made thereunder;
An offence under Section 83C of the Banking Act, No. 30 of 1988;
- Any law for the time being in force relating to transnational organized crime;
- Any law for the time being in force relating to cyber crime;
- Any law for the time being in force relating to offences against children;
- Any written law for the time being in force relating to offences connected with the trafficking or smuggling of persons;
- The Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235) and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;
- The Excise Ordinance (Chapter) 52 and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;
- The Payment Device Frauds Act No 30 of 2006 and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;
- The National Environmental Act No 47 of 1980 and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder
- An offence under any other written law for the time being in force which is punishable by death or with imprisonment for a term five years or more; provided however that, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the preceding provision, any offence under section 386, 388, 399, and 401of the Penal Code (Chapter 19) shall be deemed to be an unlawful activity for the purpose of this Act; and
- An act committed within any jurisdiction outside Sri Lanka, which would either constitute an offence in that jurisdiction or which would if committed in Sri Lanka amount to an unlawful activity within the meaning of this Act.

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