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Body notes ‘significant’ anti-laundering strides

Body notes ‘significant’ anti-laundering strides

An inter-governmental anti-money laundering group has stopped monitoring Cambodia after it said the Kingdom had made “significant progress” toward fighting financial crimes.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body with headquarters in Paris and established in 1987 to enact a series of anti-money laundering recommendations, in a statement last week welcomed Cambodia’s “significant progress in improving its [anti-money laundering] regime”.

“Cambodia has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified,” it said, without giving details of what had prompted the change.

FATF representatives could not be reached for comment.

The move by FATF to stop monitoring Cambodia comes just months after the country was ranked the third worst in the world, behind only Afghanistan and Iran, for money laundering in the Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index.

The index, compiled by the Basel Institute on Governance, argued that a combination of corruption, a weak judiciary and a lack of transparency across the finance sector had led Cambodia to retain its low ranking for the third year in a row.

ANZ Royal Bank CEO Grant Knuckey at the time said the Basel index had not considered “the frameworks put in place by the National Bank of Cambodia for suspicious transaction reporting and the role of the [Financial Intelligence Unit]”.

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