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Duties and Powers of MASAK

MASAK was established with the enactment of Law No. 4208 on Prevention of Money Laundering on 19.11.1996 and started to carry out its functions on 17.02.1997. The functions and powers of MASAK were redetermined with;

- Law No. 5549 on Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime which was put into force on 18th of October 2006
- Law No. 6415 on the Prevention of the Financing of Terrorism which was entered into force on 16th of February 2013
- Law No. 5271 on Turkish Criminal Procedure Law (In Article 128 which was amended on 21st of February 2014)

Law No.5549 on Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime

Article 19- (1) The Presidency of Financial Crimes Investigation Board is directly attached to the Minister of Finance. The duties and powers of the Presidency are as follows:

a) To develop policies and implementation strategies, to coordinate institutions and organizations, to conduct collective activities, to exchange views and information in order to prevent laundering proceeds of crime.

b) To prepare law, by-law and regulation drafts in accordance with the policies determined, to make regulations for the implementation of this Law and the decisions of Council of Ministers regarding the Law.

c) To carry out researches on the developments and trends on laundering proceeds of crime, and on the methods of detecting and preventing them.

ç) To make sectoral studies, to improve measures and to monitor the implementation on the purpose of prevention of laundering proceeds of crime.

d) To carry out activities to raise the public awareness and support.

e) To collect data, to receive suspicious transaction reports, to analyze and evaluate them in the scope of prevention of laundering proceeds of crime and terrorist financing.

f) To request for examination from law enforcement and other relevant units in their fields, when required during the evaluation period.

g) To carry out or to have carried out examinations on the subject matters of this Law.

ğ) To denounce files to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for the necessary legal actions according to the Criminal Procedure Law in the event of detecting serious findings at the conclusion of the examination that a money laundering offence is committed.

h) To examine the cases conveyed from Public Prosecutors and to fulfill the requests relating to the determination of money laundering offence.

ı) To convey the cases to the competent Public Prosecutor’s Office in cases where serious suspicion exists that a money laundering or terrorist financing offence is committed.

i) To ensure inspection of obligations within the scope of this Law and relevant legislation.

j) To request all kinds of information and documents from public institutions and organizations, natural and legal persons, and unincorporated organizations.

k) To request temporary personnel assignment from other public institutions and organizations within the Presidency, when their knowledge and expertise is necessary.

l) To carry out international affairs, to exchange views and information for the subjects in the sphere of its duties.

m) To exchange information and documents with counterparts in foreign countries, to sign memorandum of understanding that is not in the nature of an international agreement for this purpose.

(2) The unit requested according to the sub-paragraph (f) of paragraph (1) by the Presidency shall respond to the request promptly.

(3) The Presidency fulfills its duties of examination on money laundering offence through examiners. The examiners are designated upon the request of the President by the proposal of the head of the related unit and by the approval of the Minister to whom they are attached or related.

(4) The examiners assigned upon the request of the Presidency are authorized to request information and document, to make examination, to inspect the obligations, to scrutinize all kinds of documents on the matters of the assignment.

Regulation on the Procedures and Principles Regarding the Implementation of Law on the Prevention of the Financing of Terrorism (Within the scope of Law No. 6415 on the Prevention of the Financing of Terrorism)

Article 16-(1) Duties and Powers of MASAK within the scope the Law are follows:

a) submitting information on persons, institutions or organizations listed and de-listed under UNSC resolutions to Council of Ministers,

b) notifying the decisions made by Council of Ministers pursuant to UNSC Resolutions and applications against those decisions to Ministry of Foreign Affairs so as to be conveyed to United Nations Security Council,

c) conducting necessary financial research related to freezing of assets within the scope of implementing Articles 6 and 7 of the Law and submitting research results to the Commission,

ç) requesting information from public institutions and organizations and natural and legal persons within the scope of financial research,

d) requesting information, documents and opinions from The Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Undersecretariat of National Intelligence Organisation, the Undersecretariat of Treasury and other relevant public institutions and organizations with regard to decisions and requests regarding freezing of asset within the scope of implementation of Articles 6 and 7,

e) approving requests made within the scope of paragraph 6 of the Article 14 of this Regulation and unfreezing by notifying institutions and organizations, and natural and legal persons,

f) correcting the misapplications that may occur during the implementation of the decision of Council of Ministers,

g) sending injunctions to natural and legal persons and public institutions and organizations who hold asset records, to implement the freezing action,

h) listing persons, institutions or organizations about whom decision on freezing of assets has been made on MASAK website and de-listing them if the decisions are repealed.

i) with regard to management of the frozen asset, giving permissions to acts specified in the Article 13(2) and (3) of the Law,

j) Notifying the repealing decisions to relevant person, institution or organization implementing the freezing decision,

k) Controlling whether the natural and legal persons and public organizations and institutions who hold asset records comply with the freezing decision and whether the frozen asset is managed in conformity with the provisions of the law, and drawing up guidance in this regard,

l) publishing guidance and implementation manuals, organizing trainings, workshops, panels and seminars in order to ensure that natural and legal persons and public organizations and institutions who hold asset records implement asset freezing decisions effectively and thoroughly,

m) opening an account within a bank operating in Turkey for any payment to be made to persons, institutions or organizations on whom asset-freezing decision has been made and who do not have an account within a bank in Turkey,

n) performing the Secretariat services of the Commission

Law No. 5271 on Turkish Criminal Procedure Law
(Seizure of Immovables, Rights and Claims)

Article 128 – (1) The following items belonging to the suspect or the accused may be seized in cases where there are strong grounds of suspicion tending to show that the crime under investigation or prosecution has been committed and that they have been obtained from this crime;

a) Immovable goods,

b) Transport vehicles of land, sea or air,

c) All kinds of accounts in banks or other financial institutions,

d) All kinds of rights and claims within natural or legal persons,

e) Valuable documents,

f) Shares at the company where he/she is a shareholder,

g) Contents of the safe-deposit box,

h) Other assets belonging to him.

Even in cases where these specifically designated immovables, rights, claims and other asset values are in possession of individuals other than the suspect or the accused, the seizure may still be conducted. (Additional sentence: 21/02/2014-6526/art. 10)

In order to give a seizure decision under this article, a report relating to the value derived from crime may be requested according to its relevance from Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, Capital Markets Board, MASAK, Undersecretariat of Treasury and Public Oversight Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority. This report is prepared at the latest within three months.

When special reasons necessitate, this period may be extended for two more months upon request.