Global

Compliance Policy

Statement of commitment

MID House of Diamonds (Hereinafter:”MID”) is one of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturers and distributors of polished diamonds. The company have been selling to leading retailers around the world for the past 50 years and is among the top ten diamond manufacturers in the world in size.

MID is committed to compliance with all applicable regulations related to it’s global operations in the following Fields:

  • Anti-money laundering (“AML”)
  • Combating terrorist financing (“CTF”)
  • Sanctions Compliance

It is the policy of MID to protect the company, all employees, its customers, business partners and partner banks, to the extent reasonably possible, from being used to facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing and/or other nefarious acts.

This policy, along with its Risk Assessment, supporting procedures and training material, constitute MID’s Compliance Program.  This policy is approved by the Board of Directors annually or upon significant update in regulations requirements or business activity and serves to meet the following objectives of a sound Compliance Program:

  • Designation of Compliance Officer;
  • Provision of adequate training for all MID’ staff and applicable business partners;
  • Implementation of internal controls to ensure compliance, including customer identification, monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping requirements;
  • Definition of Customer Due Diligence (CDD) to verify the identity of the Customer, the identities of the beneficial owners, and understand the nature and purpose of the relationship.
  • Provision for periodic independent review of the AML, CTF and Sanctions Program;

To assist the government in detecting, preventing and eradicating any illegal and criminal activity, MID closely monitors all financial transactions and takes all necessary steps to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

FINANCIAL CRIME

2.1         Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process of concealing the existence, illegal source, or application of income derived from criminal activity, and the subsequent disguising of the source of that income to make it appear legitimate.  Through money laundering, the criminal transforms the monetary proceeds derived from criminal activity into funds with an apparent legal source.

Money laundering is generally viewed as a three-stage process, although the stages often overlap.  The stages are known as placement, layering, and integration.

1.      Placement is when the currency earned from illegal activity is moved to a place less suspicious to law enforcement and more convenient to the criminal, such as financial institutions or the retail economy.  As it is the initial introduction of illegal proceeds into the financial system, it is usually the easiest to detect and thus the most vulnerable step in the cycle for criminals.  Structuring and smurfing are the most common methods of placement.

o   Structuring is the illegal practice of breaking up large amounts of cash into several smaller, less conspicuous ones to avoid reporting or recordkeeping requirements.  Example: Breaking up large sums of cash and loading funds onto multiple prepaid cards and/or other monetary instruments.

o   Smurfing is the term used when multiple people are involved in structuring transactions.  Money is  to several people (“smurfs”) who place the funds into the financial system.  Example: Multiple people are engaged to purchase a series of monetary instruments or anonymous gift cards.

2.      Layering is the subsequent movement of funds or conversion into other forms, meant to further disguise the original source of funds.  Multiple, complex layers of transactions are used to confuse the audit trail.  In this stage, funds may be channeled through the purchase or sale of investment, or by wire transfers through accounts at various institutions.

o   Example: Prepaid cards are shipped to multiple cross-border individuals to cash at ATMs.  Funds are deposited in various accounts and transferred between banks.

3.      Integration is the final stage when proceeds are placed back into the economy to create the perception that funds were gained legally.  Money now appears to be “clean” legitimate earnings gained through normal financial or commercial operations.  This stage may involve a money launderer’s investment in a business venture, real estate, or luxury assets.

o   Example: Money from multiple accounts is ultimately settled into a single bank account and used to purchase real estate.

2.2         Terrorist financing

Terrorist financing is providing financing, money, or support to terrorist groups or causes.  Whereas money laundering involves concealing the proceeds of illegal activity, terrorist funding is used for an ideological purpose and is not necessarily derived illegally.  However, just as criminals need to disguise their illegal source of funds, terrorists must disguise the link between their funding sources and their illegal political purpose.  Consequently, the methods used are similar.

Terrorists will use the same methods described above in order to move money and maintain the secrecy of transactions and access to funds, thus controls implemented by businesses will serve the dual purpose of fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.

2.3         Money Laundering and Terrorist financing risks in Diamonds trade

Diamonds can be vulnerable for misuse for ML/TF purposes because they can transfer value and ownership quickly, often, with a minimal audit trail. They provide flexibility and an easy transportation of value. Diamond  trade risks and vulnerabilities  include:

 

  • Global nature of trade – The trade in diamonds is transnational and complex, thus convenient for ML/TF transactions that are, in most cases, of international and multi- jurisdictional nature. This, in turn, may create difficulties for national law enforcement to conduct investigations and necessitates international cooperation between law enforcement agencies across countries in which the trade is taking place.
  • Use of diamonds as currency – The research noted criminals’ use of diamonds as a form of currency is a characteristic unique to the diamond trade. Diamonds are difficult to trace and can provide anonymity in transactions.
  • Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML) – This is one of the most common methods used by criminals to launder illegally gained funds. The specific characteristics of diamonds as a commodity and the significant proportion of transactions related to international trade make the diamonds trade vulnerable to the different laundering techniques of TBML in general and over/under valuation in particular.
  • High amounts – cases show that the trade in diamonds can reach tens of millions to billions of US dollars. This has bearing on the potential to launder large amounts of money through the diamond trade and also on the level of risks of the diamonds trade. 

PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE

Penalties for violating or failing to comply with AML, CTF and Sanctions laws and regulations can be severe.  MID, its Board of Directors, and its employees may face criminal and civil action and fines.  Penalties can result in substantial fines and/or prison terms.  In addition to organizational liability, there is also the potential for personal criminal liability that means individual employees could be criminally prosecuted for violations of AML, CTF and Sanctions laws.

Regulated entities can be subject to a “cease and desist” order, increased regulatory monitoring and scrutiny, reputation damage, and loss of charter. Individuals may be subject to removal from the financial services industry. Regulated entities face the loss of licensing, as well as the loss of banking partners and reputational damage.

Regulatory authorities may apply the following “standard of knowledge” in determining whether a company, its management or employees is guilty of aiding and abetting money laundering or terrorist financing:

·         Flagrant Indifference:  Careless disregard for regulatory requirements and sound business practices.

·         Willful Blindness:  Deliberate ignorance, failure to analyze, or investigate further in the face of information that suggests probable money laundering or terrorist financing. 

 

·         Collective Knowledge:  Aggregates the knowledge of employees and attributes it to the company.

APPOINTMENT OF A COMPLIANCE OFFICER

One of the requirements of an adequate AML, CTF and Sanctions Program is designation of a Compliance Officer to provide day-to-day management and oversight of the company’s AML, CTF and Sanctions compliance requirements. 

 

The Compliance Officer is the primary point of contact for internal and external questions relating to money laundering and terrorist financing matters, Sanctions, and the policy requirements described within this document. The duties of the Compliance Officer include:

·         Implementing MID’s AML, CTF and Sanctions Program at the operational level. Ensuring that all employees are familiar with this Policy and all related Company’s internal documentation.

·         The Compliance officer shall be a source of professional knowledge in the field of AML & CFT for Company managers and employees.

·         Reviewing and updating the AML, CTF and Sanctions Program consistent with any new statutes, regulations, industry best practices, or changing products or product features and ensuring that this Policy is timely adapted to regulatory changes and standards.

·         Ensuring that this Policy is updated on a regular basis (at least once per year).

·         Overseeing AML, CTF and Sanctions communication and ongoing training for personnel.

·         Ensuring reporting and recordkeeping is in accordance with the requirements.

·         Coordinating independent reviews of the AML, CTF and Sanctions Program.

·         Providing periodic reports to management regarding MID’s overall AML, CTF and Sanctions compliance.

·         Ensuring the proper implementation of Know Your Customer requirements in Company’s activities, including proper assessment of customer’s identification documents, collection of their copies, record keeping, etc.

·         Ensuring that the Company keeps and maintains all the required records and ensuring.

·         Ensuring that AML/CTF prevention measures applied by the Company would correspond to the scope and nature of Company’s activities.

 

 

INDEPENDENT AUDIT AND ANNUAL REVIEW

It is MIS’s Policy to require an independent review of its AML, CTF and Sanctions Program, performed every 18 months at a minimum, more often if changes to the business line warrant or if any contractual requirements dictate more often.  Such review shall be conducted by an external party to ensure independence.   

At a minimum, the scope of the audit shall address each critical facet of MID’s AML, CTF and Sanctions Program, including policies, procedures and training documentation.   The audit may include interviewing of employees and staff involved in monitoring, collection of KYC, processing transaction data, or performing test transactions.

A written report summarizing results of the review and management’s corrective action is provided to the Board of Directors and the Compliance Officer following completion of the review. The Compliance Officer shall develop and manage an action plan designed to resolve any weaknesses or deficiencies noted in the review, specifically resolving mutually agreed upon high severity recommendations within 30 days or less.

 

MID shall retain records of all final reports of the reviews of its AML, CTF and Sanctions Program. The Compliance Officer shall be responsible for maintaining such records, which shall include a copy of the reviewer’s final written report and a record of any related action taken by MID. Records shall be maintained for a period of five years from the date of final resolution of all issues noted.

EMPLOYEE TRAINING

It is MID’s Policy that all employees, including the Board of Directors, Management and appropriate partners are provided with adequate training to ensure reasonable understanding of applicable AML, CTF and Sanctions regulations and MID’s policies and procedures.  Training also ensures the employee and partner understand the consequences of non-compliance.

All employees are required to successfully complete AML, CTF and Sanctions training on an annual basis.  Employees are also provided with a current copy of MID’s AML, CTF and Sanctions Policy and are required to sign an Acknowledgement of Receipt, Understanding and Attestation of Compliance annually.  Failure to attend training is grounds for termination. All new hires are required to attend and successfully complete AML, CTF and Sanctions training within thirty days of their start date.

MID will employ a variety of techniques, which can be combined for best results for the intended user audience (The following are methods that could be used):

 

  • Electronic or Physical documentation (such as newsletters)
  • In-person training sessions or seminars
  • Peer on-going knowledge transfer
  • Online videos
  • Periodic information provided to give additional details or address new situations
  • Email alerts/discussions

RISK-BASED APPROACH – RISK ASSESSMENT

MID has adopted a risk-based approach to applying AML, CTF and Sanctions controls. A proper risk assessment process enables the company to understand its unique risk profile, better identify and mitigate gaps in controls, and apply appropriate risk management processes.

A proper risk assessment measures the MID’s AML, CTF and Sanctions risk based on customer, product and geographic risks it faces.  No two companies’ risk assessments will be alike.  Conducting a thorough AML, CTF and Sanctions Risk Assessment is crucial to building a risk-based approach to AML, CTF and Sanctions compliance.

The Company will perform a comprehensive risk assessment, which will identify and analyze the risks of money laundering and terror financing it faces. The risk assessment will constitute the foundation for applying a risk-based approach by the Company, and among others, will assist in the proper allocation of resources for reducing the identified risks.

The risk assessment will be performed by analyzing quantitative indicators of the variety of risks based on its customers’ areas of activity, the nature of their activity and a quantitative evaluation of exposures to dangerous areas of activity. The evaluation will finalize the controls performed by the Company for the management of risks as stated, and will examine the quality of risk management of the tested parameters. The evaluation will finalize all components specified above to a quantitative map of risks.

The risk assessment will be performed at least once a year, and in any case, when there is change in circumstances or new threats arise, the risk assessment will be prepared accordingly. In the framework of the periodic risk assessment, changes in the mix of customers at risk, the scope of activity and the quality of control will be examined over time.

The Risk Assessment is conducted by the Compliance Officer or designee and provided to the Board of Directors for review and approval.  The Board also reviews the Risk Assessment annually as part of their review and approval of the overall AML, CTF and Sanctions Program.

 

 

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER PROGRAM

It is MID’s policy to apply Know Your Customer Program (KYC) requirements in compliance with legal requirements in each geography it operates.

MID’s KYC includes: (i) basic policies and procedures for collecting and verifying information on the identity of customers; (ii) enhanced policies and procedures for gathering further information when needed to gain a better understanding of the relationship; and (iii) policies and procedures for monitoring customer activity throughout the life of the relationship.

MID does not discriminate or draw conclusions about its customers or their banking activities based on race, religious affiliation, national origin or ethnicity. 

In accordance to the activity thresholds set within the company’s Know Your Customer Procedures MID will collect customer identification information from each customer which will include the identification documents of the recipient of the services, if the customer is a corporation the company will collect the relevant incorporation documents and the identification documents of the beneficiary owners.

 

 

DIAMOND CUSTOMER DUE DILIGENCE PROGRAM

It is MID’s policy to apply Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements in compliance with legal requirements in each geography it operates.  MID CDD Program includes: (i) Corporate customer identification and verification, (ii) beneficial ownership identification and verification, (iii) understanding the nature and purpose of corporate customer relationships to develop a customer risk profile, (iv) ongoing monitoring for reporting suspicious transactions and, on a risk-basis, maintaining and updating customer information.

T the depth of due diligence is dependent on the capacity of the relationship with the customers and its risk assessment. The CDD may include, but is not limited to:

  • Collect and validate identifying information on each individual, if any, who, directly or indirectly, owns 20% or more of the equity interests of a legal entity customer
  • Collect and validate identifying information on the single individual with significant responsibility to control, manage, or direct a legal entity customer
  • Ensure all requirements of the issuing institution are met

 

 

 

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY MONITORING AND REPORTING

All MID employees must be alert to activity indicative of money laundering, terrorist financing or other criminal activity. It is MID’s policy to comply with legal requirements in each geography it operates to promptly report suspicious transactions to the relevant Financial Intelligence Unit  and/or activity as required and to cooperate with law enforcement in criminal investigations within the confines of applicable laws and regulations. The suspicious transactions and/or activity monitoring triggers are identified in the Suspicious Transaction/Activity Procedures; they are defined, reviewed and approved by the Compliance Committee periodically or upon update.

If an officer or employee of MID discovers activity that he or she knows or suspects involves money laundering, terrorist financing or other criminal activity, the information must immediately be referred to the Compliance Officer. 

MID will file a Suspicious Transaction Report if a transaction is conducted or attempted by, at, or through MID, that MID knows, suspects or has reason to suspect the transaction or pattern of transactions:

·         Involves funds derived from illegal activity, or is intended to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activity, as part of a plan to violate or evade any law or regulation, or to avoid any transaction reporting requirement under law or regulation;

·         Serves no business purpose or apparent lawful purpose, and MID knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction; or

·         Involves the use of MID to facilitate criminal activity.

Information regarding a Suspicious Transaction Report filing is confidential and shared internally only on a need-to-know basis in order to minimize the risks of inadvertent disclosure.  MID does not share its suspicions with customers or employees who are subjects of an investigation, nor are they told if a Suspicious Transaction/ Activity Report has been filed.  It is illegal to tell any person involved in a suspicious transaction that a Suspicious Transaction/ Activity Report has been filed.   In addition, the company will enable increased monitoring of customers classified as high-risk customers by lowering the thresholds for monitoring regarding the activity.

All controls will also refer to the attempt to perform an action, even though the action was not completed.

MID employees are alert and monitor for the following red flags:

Suspicious Documents

1.      Documents provided for identification appear to have been altered or forged.

2.      Information on the identification is not consistent with information provided by the person opening a new account or customer presenting the identification.

3.      Other information on the identification is not consistent with readily accessible information that is on file with MID.

Suspicious Personal Identifying Information

1.      Personal identifying information provided is inconsistent when compared against external information sources used for identity verification. 

2.      Personal identifying information provided by the customer is not consistent with other personal identifying information provided by the customer.

3.      Personal identifying information provided is associated with known fraudulent activity as indicated by internal or third-party sources.

4.      Personal identifying information provided is of a type commonly associated with fraudulent activity as indicated by internal or third-party sources.

5.      The identification number provided is the same as that submitted by other persons opening an account or other customers.

6.      The address or telephone number provided is the same as or similar to the information submitted by an unusually large number of other persons opening accounts.

7.      The person opening the account fails to provide all required personal identifying information on an application or in response to notification that the application is incomplete.

8.      Personal identifying information provided is not consistent with personal identifying information that is on file at MID.

A suspicious activity is an activity which, in light of the information in its possession, the suspicion arose that it is related to activity which is forbidden in accordance with the Money Laundering Prohibition Law or the Terror Financing Prohibition Law. The reports will be based on the findings received in the framework of the monitoring activity performed by the Company, as well as reports received by employees who are in contact with customers or customer activity, and who have identified an unusual activity by the customer.

The Company shall examine the background and purpose of the suspicious activity conducted by the customer, and will examine whether the activity amounts to an activity requiring reporting.

The entire process will be anchored in a procedure which will include full documentation of the decision-making process, from the initial discovery and until forming the decision whether to report to the competent authority, and actions which must be taken in case the report is decided to be archived.

For this matter, it is important to note that a currency transaction report does not exempt from the duty to make a suspicious activity report. In addition, a report will also be delivered regarding an attempt to perform an action, even if the action was eventually not completed. In case suspicious activity persists, a continuation report will be sent accordingly.

A report of a suspicious activity will be filed in the shortest period under the circumstances. In case of special circumstances, an inevitable delay or in case the Company sees the delay as justified, the reasons for the delay will be documented

CURRENCY TRANSACTION REPORT (CTR)

In accordance to the legal requirements in each geography it operates the Company shall report to the relevant Financial Intelligence Unit of the actions meeting the conditions set forth in the reporting clause according to the type and amount of the action, without any discretion in delivering the reports.

SCREENING AGAINST SANCTIONS AND TERRORIST RELATED LISTS

The Company shall screen the names of all its customers opposite sanctions lists. The screening of the customer’ name and all entities involved including the account owners, the authorized signatories, proxies, guarantors, holders of controlling interests and beneficiaries, will be made prior to and as a condition for starting a business relationship with the customer .

In order to ensure that the control is proper and updated, in addition to the foregoing, the Company shall perform a screening against sanction lists in the following cases as well:

1.      When changing the details of one of the entities involved in the business/account.

2.      Every month on periodical basis, in order to ensure the scan is proper.

The scan will be performed by a designated system and with a phonetic matching of more than 98%.

In case a match is found between the name of the account owner, authorized signatories, proxies, guarantors, holders of controlling interests, beneficiaries or the counterparty to the activity, and the sanction lists, or when an action is performed, which raises the suspicion of terror funding, the Company shall stop the activity, freeze all activity in the account and report the relevant sanctions body using the designated form. In addition, it shall be impossible to perform the action and/or continue the business activity prior to receiving an approval by relevant regulator. Simultaneously, a suspicious activity report will be filed with the details of the case, to the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority.

The entire process will be anchored in a procedure which will include full documentation of the decision-making process, from the initial discovery, decisions made regarding false positive hits and until forming the decision whether to report to block the activity and report to competent authority, and actions which must be taken in case the report is decided to be archived.

The scan will be performed opposite the following sanctions lists:

1.      The list of declared persons of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

2.      Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) ) including the following lists:

·            Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN)

·            Consolidated Sanctions List

·            Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List

·            Foreign Sanctions Evaders List

·            Non-SDN Palestinian Legislative Council List

·            Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions List

·            The List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the “Part 561 List”)

·            Please see this technical notice for information about the 13599 List

·            List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List)

3.      Consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions.

4.      HM Treasury and Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation sanctions list.

5.      The list of declared persons in the decision of the UN Security Council as assisting the Iranian nuclear program and accompanying programs, as well as factors declared in the framework of preventing the proliferation of the United Nations.

 

MID will implement additional due diligence to comply to OFAC’s 50 percent rule which determines whether companies not appearing on the SDN list should  considered blocked because they are owned by other companies or people who do appear on the SDN list. The company will verify that its customers corporations is not owned by persons whose property and interest in property are blocked pursuant to an executive order or regulations that are administered by OFAC and considered to have an interest in all property of an entity in which such blocked persons own, whether that’s individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.

PROHIBITION OF TRADING WITH THE ENEMY

In accordance with the prohibition in the Ordinance of Prohibition of Trading with the Enemy, the Company shall not hold any business or financial relation with factors in countries which are at war with the state of Israel and which were defined as enemy countries by the Minister of Defense (currently, the countries defined as enemy states are: Iran, Syria and Lebanon, or any other country in as much as it shall be defined as such by the Minister of Defense in accordance with his authority in the Ordinance of Prohibition of Trading with the Enemy).

 

 The Company shall ensure that no financial activity is performed by it using citizens, a company which incorporated or a body belonging to an enemy state. In addition, any option for performing financial activity opposite bodies in these countries will be completely blocked. 

ACTIVITY WITH SANCTIONED COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

The Company shall comply with economic sanctions and embargoes related regulations and orders.

The company will block in its systems the possibility of onboarding or provided settlements to sanctioned regions and territories or entities originates from sanctioned regions and territories.

The Company shall not conduct business with, or process transactions in foreign countries for nationals listed by the following government institutions:

·            Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

·            EU financial sanctions.

·            UN Security Council.

Due to the difficulties of identification of sanctioned territories as their address is located in a non-sanctioned country, the company will identify and block such areas in accordance to the customer’s address city or postal code.

 

The Company will periodically check (at least once per month) the above-mentioned financial sanctions lists during the identification of the customer also as a part of continuous monitoring of the customer’s business relationship. 

POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS

Prior to establishing a business relation with a new customer, the Company shall conduct due diligence to determine whether the customer, its representative or beneficial owner is a Politically Exposed Person (the “PEP”).

Information whether the customer, its representative or beneficial owners is a PEP shall be determined by:

a.      Providing a Customer Identification Questionnaire for the customer requesting to specify information of the political exposure of the customer / its representative / its beneficial owner;

b.      verify the information obtained from the customer / its representatives / its beneficial owner in available databases.

If it is identified that the customer / its representative / its beneficial owner is a PEP, the decision on establishing a business relation with PEP shall be authorized by the Compliance officer.

All PEPs shall be considered as high-risk customers and shall be monitored as such.

 

The Company shall periodically verify and update information about the political exposure of the customers / beneficial owners in databases.

RECORD KEEPING

The Company shall keep the document of its customers and documentation of actions performed by them, including identification and verification documents, declaration of beneficiary and holder, a know-your-customer questionnaire and further information collected during the process of due diligence, at least 5 years.

 

The Company shall perform reviews in order to guarantee the existence of appropriate and updated information. If deficiencies of significant information are found regarding a customer, steps will be taken to ensure obtaining the appropriate information as soon as possible.

SHELL BANKS

The Company shall not engage in correspondent banking with a bank registered in a jurisdiction where the bank does not have a physical presence (“shell bank”) unless it relates to a supervised banking group and will not engage in business as aforesaid with a financial institution that allows its accounts to be used by a bank of said type.

 

Decisions on the conduct for new correspondent relations will be authorized by the company’s compliance Officer. 

COOPERATION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES

Company’s Compliance Officer shall provide law enforcement authorities all information required by law regarding individuals or companies who is believed to be engaged in ML/TF activity within a time specified within the request.

 

 

 

UPDATED: MARCH, 2019