It’s a popular fixation in the media that the art market is just a front for international money laundering. In the past, we’ve argued that art is too volatile an asset and a market too filled with sharp operators to make it an easy or convenient venue for money laundering. One alternative we often point to is the global market for large and valuable gemstones. So it is interesting to read today that Israel’s Diamond Exchange is implementing AML controls:
Israel Diamond Exchange members will soon be subject to government supervision of cash payment policies as part of new anti-money laundering regulations, state Diamond Controller office Shmuel Mordechai told bourse members on Tuesday, according to the IDE website.
The first part of the new policy goes into effect on September 15. By mid-October, IDE members will be subject to supervision by the controller’s office, “especially in the field of client identification”, he said.
“At first we will help people to understand and adapt their business, but if we detect any irregularities, we will treat them severely,” Mordechai said. Representatives of Israel’s Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority will also conduct periodic checks of IDE members, according to the website.