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Kasim Suvorov
Kasim Suvorov

Algerian Monetary Unit

Algeria Volume II: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Algeria is not a regional financial center or an offshore financial center. The extent of money laundering through formal financial institutions is thought to be minimal due to stringent exchange control regulations and an antiquated banking sector. The partial convertibility of the Algerian dinar enables the Bank of Algeria (Algeria's Central Bank) to monitor all international financial operations carried out by public and private banking institutions. Algeria first criminalized terrorist financing through the adoption of Ordinance 95.11 on February 24, 1994, making the financing of terrorism punishable by five to ten years of imprisonment. On February 5, 2005, Algeria enacted public law 05.01, entitled "The Prevention and Fight Against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism." The law aims to strengthen the powers of the Cellule du Traitement du Renseignement Financier (CTRF), an independent financial intelligence unit (FIU) within the Ministry of Finance (MOF) created in 2002. This law seeks to bring Algerian law into conformity with international standards and conventions. It offers guidance for the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing, institutional and judicial cooperation, and penal provisions. Algerian financial institutions, as well as Algerian customs and tax administration agents, are required to report any activities they suspect of being linked to criminal activity, money laundering, or terrorist financing to CTRF and comply with subsequent CTRF inquiries. They are obligated to verify the identity of their customers or their registered agents before opening an account; they must furthermore record the origin and destination of funds they deem suspicious. In addition, these institutions must maintain confidential reports of suspicious transactions and customer records for at least five years after the date of the last transaction or the closing of an account. The new legislation extends money laundering controls to specific, non-bank financial professions such as lawyers, accountants, stockbrokers, insurance agents, pension managers, and dealers of precious metals and antiquities. Provided information is shared with the CTRF in good faith, the law offers immunity from administrative or civil penalties for individuals who cooperate with money laundering and terrorist finance investigations. Under the law, assets may be frozen for up to 72 hours on the basis of suspicious activity; such freezes can only be extended with judicial authorization. Financial penalties for non-compliance range from 50,000 to 5 million Algerian dinars. The law also provides significant authority to the Algerian Banking Commission, the independent body established under authority of the Bank of Algeria to supervise banks and financial institutions, to inform the CTRF of suspicious or complex transactions. The law furthermore gives the Algerian Banking Commission, CTRF, and the Algerian judiciary wide latitude to exchange information with their foreign government counterparts in the course of money laundering and terrorist finance investigations, provided confidentiality for suspected entities is insured. A clause excludes the sharing of information with foreign governments in the event legal proceedings are already underway in Algeria against the suspected entity, or if the information is deemed too sensitive for national security reasons. On November 14, 2005, the Government of Algeria issued Executive Decree 05-442, establishing a ceiling for cash transactions conducted in Algeria. Effective September 1, 2006, any payments in excess of 50,000 Algerian dinars must be made by check, wire transfer, payment card, bill of exchange, promissory note, or other official bank payment. While non-residents are exempt from this requirement, they must (like all travelers to and from the country) report their foreign currency to the Algerian Customs Authority. The Ministry of Interior is charged with registering foreign and domestic non-governmental organizations in Algeria, although some probably operate beneath its notice. While the Ministry of Religious Affairs legally controls the collection of funds at mosques for charitable purposes, some of these funds probably escape the notice of government monitoring efforts. In November 2004, Algeria became a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENA FATF). Algeria is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In addition, Algeria is a signatory to various UN, Arab, and African conventions against terrorism, trafficking in persons, and organized crime. It has also established an interagency council to oversee money laundering and terrorist financing investigations and form a commission that will evaluate all pending cases. The Ministry of Justice is expected to create a pool of judges trained in financial matters. Over the last two years, Algeria has taken significant steps to enhance its statutory regime against anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. It must now move forward with implementation of those laws, including the coming into force of the law limiting the size of cash transactions.

algerian monetary unit

Today, shilling is the name of the basic currency of four former British colonies in Africa: Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. (It was also once the basic monetary unit of Ireland, Austria, Australia, and New Zealand.) Nevertheless, Americans are most likely to know it as the old British denomination worth one-twentieth of a pound, or twelve pence. Its name traces back to a gold coin known in Old High German as the skilling.

Corruption is a serious obstacle for companies operating or intending to invest in Algeria. A culture of patronage permeates several aspects of Algeria's economy, strengthening the practices of nepotism and the use of connections to "get things done." Bribery and facilitation payments are also common practice, despite being criminal offenses. Bribes and "grease money" are mainly employed to overcome bureaucratic hurdles. The legal framework criminalizes a large range of corruption offenses, but enforcement remains a challenge and government officials engage in corruption with impunity. For further information - GAN Integrity Business Anti-Corruption Portal

LGBTQ+ communities in Algeria face harassment in law, with homosexuality still being criminalized, and within society, as indicated by the many cases of violence documented by LGBTQ+ rights organizations.

Freedom of religion is fairly well established. The constitution guarantees religious freedom if exercised within the law. A law of February 2006 (Ordinance 06 - 03) restricts religious freedom for non-Muslims and imposes restrictions on their religious practices. Prior authorization of any religious organization is necessary, and the state can discriminate against minorities. The Christian community still practices freely although proselytism is forbidden. Muslims who convert to Christianity face societal and legal restrictions. Criticizing Islam or Muslim dignitaries can lead to imprisonment and financial penalties. Between 2019 and 2020, three citizens have been imprisoned following accusations of insulting the Prophet and criticizing Islam.

The Hirak demonstrations brought Algerians of all walks of life together onto the streets in an unprecedented way throughout 2019. There was an increase in trust, public debates, artwork, displays of traditional cultural heritage and initiatives demonstrating community solidarity such as public clean-ups, voluntary first aid responders, and communal Ramadan meals. This continued during the pandemic, with youth groups sanitizing public spaces, organizing food distribution and support to families in need. Solidarity networks in support of political detainees were also established.

Regional inequalities are particularly pronounced in the southern regions. While less densely populated, and the site of oil extraction, these regions experience a significant lack of opportunities and poverty, which remain key challenges to address.

Equality of opportunity is guaranteed by law, but persistent corruption, despotism and favoritism based on regionalism means equal access to employment and public services is not always ensured. Free education exists at all levels across the country. Overall enrolment rates are in line with MENA regional averages: 107.3% in primary, 99.6% in secondary, and 51.4% in tertiary education. Women have higher enrolment rates than men particularly at the tertiary level. The most recent data on literacy shows improvement overall (81.4% in total), but higher levels for men (87.4%) than for women (75.3%). Family revenue still plays a role in the quality of education, with private schools or education abroad chosen by those who can afford it.

Foreign direct investment in Algeria is 0.8% of GDP in 2019. Investment outside the oil and gas sector remains low. Financial and training initiatives launched by the government to support SMEs, young people and employment opportunities have been renewed since the change of government.

There is widespread access to education in Algeria. Literacy rates are high at 81.4%, although gender disparities persist. Since 1975, Algeria has provided universal free access to education. Although both school education and university education are free, the practice of pupils enrolling in private classes after regular school hours is increasingly widespread and constitutes a problem in terms of equal opportunity and access to knowledge. Considerable efforts have been made in the last decade to create higher education structures across the entire country, including student residencies and free transportation, which has had a positive effect, most notably in terms of greater access to education for women. Yet, in light of growing numbers of students, ensuring the quality of teaching and research remains a challenge. 041b061a72


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