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A Bill to bolster New Zealand’s existing anti-money laundering laws has passed its second reading in Parliament tonight with unanimous support, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

“The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill will help protect New Zealand businesses and make it harder for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activities,” says Ms Adams.

“Extending the AML/CFT Act to lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, sports and racing betting, and businesses that deal in certain high value goods will improve our ability to prevent and detect money laundering and reduce the impact on victims.

“These businesses are at particular risk of being targeted by criminals who use money laundering to fund their lifestyle and fuel re-investment in criminal ventures.

“The Bill will protect New Zealand’s reputation as being a good place to do business, and aims to strike the right balance between combating crime, minimising the cost of compliance and meeting international obligations.”

The Bill will now go to the Committee of the Whole House. Once it passes, businesses will have a period of time to prepare for the changes.

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