Mexico passes anti-money laundering law

Combating drug gangs but also tackling fraud

By Mónica Ramírez Chimal, ACFE Associate Member

monica-chimal-80x80   It’s the Law: Global anti-fraud legislation


This new column will review anti-fraud legislation from around the globe. — ed.

Mexico, following Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and European Union directives on money laundering, issued its anti-money laundering law on Oct. 17, 2012, which came into full force on July 17, 2013. (The official name of the law is Ley Federal para la Prevención e Identificación de Operaciones con Recursos de Procedencia Ilícita.) The law applies to Mexican businesses and individuals and foreigners who operate subsidiaries, offices or branches in Mexico.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon proposed the law in 2010 as part of his offensive against drug gangs, but fraud examiners should know how it could also affect their cases. 

“The purpose of this law is to protect the financial system and the national economy, establishing rules and procedures to prevent and detect transactions or operations that involve illegal proceeds,” the legislation states. (See an overview of the law in English.)  


The new law, which doesn’t target specific industries or business lines, lists 15 vulnerable activities of individuals and/or companies, including gambling games, construction services and auction or marketing of works of art, among others.

Depending on the size of their operations, the vulnerable activities are subject to compliance with the law, reporting monthly to the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, (SHCP) — the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit — and cash-handling restrictions.

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