Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SERC’s vital role in fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism

SERC’s vital role in fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
SERC works closely with the Cambodian Financial Intelligence Unit in stemming financial crimes related to the securities market.

SERC’s vital role in fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism

Cambodia being a member of the Asia/ Pacific Group on Money Laundering, one of the government’s top priority is to combat money laundering and financing terrorism.

The government cooperates with other countries to deter the use of assets or cash from crime or illegal activities.

The increase in violence and terrorism have become a serious global concern in recent years.

According to the International Monetary Fund, money laundering activities total around three to five per cent of the world’s GDP – which means that out of every $20 made, $1 is illegally earned.

Money laundering refers to the conversion or transfer of property, knowing that such property is the proceeds of an offence, for the purpose of concealing or falsely justifying the illicit origin of the property or of assisting a person involving in the commission of an offence to evade the legal consequence of his or her action.

The financing of terrorism refers to the wilful provision or collection of properties, funds or other services with the intention to use those properties, funds or other services wholly or partially to support any activities of a terrorist or terrorist organisation, including but not limited to the financing of travelling, training, planning or participating in or the perpetration of terrorism.

The Law on Anti-Money laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism was promulgated under the Royal Kram NoNS/RKM/0620/021 on June 27, 2020.

Its aim is to determine measures to supervise, deter, prevent, suppress and eliminate money laundering and the financing of terrorism in Cambodia.

National and international level cooperation is needed to tackle such unlawful activities.

Close cooperation among ministries, institutions and regulators in sharing information and making referrals of suspicious financial offences is also essential.

The Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) is defined as a supervisory authority that supervises all reporting entities in the securities sector, which shall develop regulations and provide instructions and guidelines to implement the Law on Anti-Money laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

This is done by coordinating with the Cambodian Financial Intelligence Unit (CAFIU) and imposing disciplinary measures or filing cases at court.

Some SERC officials have the legal capacity as judicial police officers to investigate and strengthen law enforcement combatting all crimes committed in the securities sector, including offences related to money laundering.

Reporting entities in the securities sector, such as securities brokers, shall apply customer due diligence measures, monitoring of abnormal transactions, establishing and submitting cases, and report suspicious cash transactions to CAFIU for conducting examinations on predicate offences, flow of properties and taking necessary action according to the laws and regulations in force.

Case study:

Mr A, who earned $100,000 from selling narcotics, invested $60,000 in real estate and deposited $40,000 to open a stock trading account with a securities broker, AAA.

Mr A planned to sell stocks to pay a terrorist group’s food and transportation bills.

1: The sale of illegal drugs is crime;

2: $100,000 are the proceeds from the offence;

3: Supporting a terrorist group’s food and travel expenses is considered financing terrorism;

4: The securities broker AAA, the reporting entity, shall report the $40,000 cash transaction to the CAFIU.

This is a clear case of money laundering to financing terrorism activity in the securities sector.

• Reference: Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism 2020.

Prepared by Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia, Legal Affairs Department.

Email: [email protected].
Tel: 023 885 611.


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10