The Financial Intelligence Authority of Uganda Amends the AML Act to Regulate Virtual Asset Service Providers

The Financial Intelligence Authority of Uganda (FIA) has amended the 2013 Anti-Money Laundering Act through an act of Parliament to include Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) as Accountable Persons.

The amended Act now means that cryptocurrency exchanges and virtual assets providers are now subject to the supervision and monitoring by the FIA.


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The amendment now means that anyone or any company that conducts one or more of the following activities for or on behalf of another person or entity, is required to register with the FIA:

  • The exchange between virtual asset and fiat currencies
  • The transfer of virtual assets
  • The safekeeping or administration of virtual assets or instruments enabling control over virtual assets
  • The participation in or provision of financial services related to an insurer’s offer or sale of a virtual asset

The amendment now means that cryptocurrency players will now be required, under the AML 2013 obligations, to:

  • Report suspicious and large cash transactions
  • Keep records
  • Undertake KYC
  • Offer AML/CFT trainings to employees
  • Put in place internal controls, procedures, and policies for detecting and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing
  • Register with the FIA

The amendment comes barely 2 months after Binance Uganda announced the closure of its operations in the country and one year after Luno, the South African exchange, started operations in the country.

About FIA

The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) is a Ugandan government agency mandated to detect and deter money laundering and terrorist financing by providing information relating to financial transactions to law enforcement and competent authorities to support investigation and prosecution of money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related crimes.

The AML Act 2013 also designates certain businesses and professions as Accountable Persons. In this case, VASPs are now classified as such.


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