Strong Regimes required to fight Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing

On July 13, it was discussed at an Asia/Pacific Group (APG) meeting that every country needs to have in place robust anti-money laundering and counter terrorist-financing regimes in order to effectively stem global criminal and terrorist activities.

When opening the 13th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering held in Singapore, Singapore Law Minister K Shanmugam said that no country could act alone in fighting this global problem. He said that it is not enough to have a national-level response to defeat a transnational enemy. To be successful, the regimes should be effective on all fronts from enforcement, detection and deterrence to prevention.

Shanmugam stated that the region would be much safer from criminal and terrorist elements only if jurisdictions had in place regimes capable of not only catching and penalising launderers and terrorist financiers, but also deterring them from action. However, without funding, money launderers and terrorists would not carry out their activities for long, therefore it is important to control flows of money through financial systems. Advances in technology (e.g. pre-paid cards, mobile payments, Internet payment services) had made the task of enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities more difficult because criminals had learnt to use them to their advantage.

According to Shanmugam, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) needed to develop new ways for measuring a regime’s effectiveness in deterring financial crimes, so that they would measure the actual level of deterrence and disruption on the group.

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