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Kazakhstan Financial Police insists on capping cash-outs

13 december 2013, 13:23
Kazakhstan Agency for Fighting Economic and Corruption Crimes (the Financial Police) is calling the Government to introduce restrictions for cash withdrawals, Tengrinews reports.

"We propose to legislatively limit the monthly amount of cash withdrawn from bank accounts of legal entities and individuals. The ceiling for individuals will be set to 5.2 million tenge ($34 thousand) and the seiling for legal entities will be set to 17.3 million tenge ($113 thousand)," the Head of the Department for Solving and Prevention of Corruption Crimes Denis Shakenov said.

He believes that it would be prudent for the Agency to advise second-tier banks to minimize the commission they charge for non-cash transactions and to raise the commissions charged for cash withdrawal.

According to Shakenov, this will serve to improve transparency of financial operations in Kazakhstan and tackle the shadow economy. Besides, the step is expected to increase the budget incomes and create favorable conditions for development of the banking system.

"Introduction of limits on cash payments will prevent money laundering, reduce bribery and embezzlement of budget funds. Besides, this will obstruct funding of terrorism, extremism and organized crime," Shakenov said i his speech at the meeting of the Public Council for Fighting Corruption and Shadow Economy.

According to the central bank, more than 1.2 trillion tenge ($7.8 billion) were cashed-out by legal entities during 10 months of the current year. Almaty and Astana cities, Southern Kazakhstan Oblast and Karaganda Oblast hold the largest share in the cash-out pool. The purpose of most of the cash-outs is to pay for services, work and delivery of goods.

According to Shakenov, cash in such large amounts is often used as bribes or kickbacks. 454 crimes out of 1862 corruption crimes, discovered by the financial police during 11 months of this year, are bribery cases.

"Circulation of large amounts of cash is threatening the national security, because it is impossible to trace cash flows, which means that they can be used to fund extremism and terrorism," he said.

The Financial Police had already tried to initiate a restriction on cash withdrawals for individuals and legal entities in April 2013.

By Renat Tashkinbayev

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