Muscat: Expatriates who wish to remit money to their families and friends back home can send as much as they wish to, as there is no limit on the amount they can transfer.
According to Amit Talukdar, the general manager of Global Money Exchange LLC, an exchange house in the country, people who remit money above a certain limit, though, do need to provide proof of how they came by those funds.
“In terms of remittances, anyone can remit any amount of money at any time,” he said. “Each organisation has its own limit on how much money you can freely remit, based on its anti-money laundering protocols. You can safely remit about OMR5,000 to OMR6,000 at a time, but any amount above that will require you to provide additional details.
“If you do need to send home more money than that, you need to provide a bank statement which shows you have that money in your account,” added Talukdar. “There is no ceiling, but whenever it goes beyond this threshold limit, you need to be prepared to provide these additional documents. They need to ensure the source of that fund.”
“If you bring cash above a certain amount to an exchange house, you also need to provide a cash withdrawal slip which shows that you have drawn money from the account whose bank statement you have submitted,” he explained. “All of these are based on anti-money laundering policies adopted by institutions.
While there is a list of documents remittance companies use to verify that the fund remitted actually belongs to the person remitting them, the exact paperwork required might differ from one organisation to another.
“An additional document that you might be required to provide, if you are remitting this money on behalf of a company, is a copy of the commercial registration,” said Talukdar. “If your statements do not match, the institution may decline to complete the transaction.”
People who do remit money above a certain limit can also expect to face questions, such as the relationship they have with the recipient of the funds.
Talukdar also explained a most common method used by people who try to launder money by sending it outside the country.
“There have been instances where people who do bring smaller amounts of money are required to provide these documents, based on the transactions they have conducted in the past,” he explained.
"For example, if you bring OMR5,000 to our organisation every day for the purposes of remittance, then, based on the current economic conditions, we will wonder why he brings so much money on a regular basis.
“Our systems and staff are robust enough to flag such individuals and send out an alert,” he added. “People do these things so that they do not cross the threshold which requires them to submit additional documents. So if we do see such incidents, we will be on the alert.”