Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Saudi Interior Ministry has stressed to its citizens the need to comply with a European law which is considered as part of the fight against terrorism and money laundering, and stipulates that large amounts of money carried by Saudi citizens traveling to any EU member country should be declared.
The ministry warns all citizens and [foreign] residents in Saudi Arabia that it is important for them to abide by this new EU law in order to facilitate their travel to and from European countries, and avoid being subjected to questioning under the terms of the new system.
In this respect, the ministry points out that the EU member countries have urged individuals entering or leaving any of them and carrying amounts of money with a value of 10,000 euros or more to declare them in writing to the local customs office in the EU country concerned.
According to the information campaign launched by the EU Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs and the Taxation and Customs Union, in cooperation with EU member country local customs administrations, this law is considered as part of the fight against terrorism and money laundering. The law in question says that travelers failing to comply with its provisions or presenting unclear or incomplete information will be fined or have their money confiscated. The aim is to ascertain the origin of the money carried by travelers and to make sure that it is not the product of an unknown activity.
For its part, Saudi Arabia is playing an important role in the fight against money laundering and, in this connection; it has issued regulations and set up a monetary investigations unit working under the authority of the Interior Ministry.
In fact, a meeting was held last month that brought together officials from the customs services, the monetary investigations unit and the Saudi monetary fund, who discussed measures concerning the declaration of money [carried by travelers] to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. The customs services are in charge of implementing the money declaration regulations which commit all travelers to declare money with a value exceeding 60,000 riyals when they leave or arrive in the country.
The Saudi customs also play an important role in carrying out the necessary precautionary measures to ensure strict customs control of the movements of currencies and financial documents that can be exchanged through customs’ services. They recently started implementing the new regulations by drafting two declaration forms, in Arabic and in English, which should be completed by a traveler, whether Saudi or foreigner, arriving or leaving the kingdom, carrying amounts of money, exchangeable monetary documents, or precious minerals.