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Anti-money laundering work lauded

Anti-money laundering work lauded

At a virtual meeting last week, the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG-JG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) noted Cambodia’s efforts in implementing action plans against money laundering, which included the promulgation of an anti-money laundering law.

The virtual meeting included ICRG-JG and Cambodian authorities, who reviewed the progress of action plans regarding anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism financing, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) press release.

The NBC said the meeting was the fourth of its kind with the ICRG-JG, which is a working group of FATF.

It was attended by 60 Cambodian officials from relevant institutions and 32 international participants from India, China, Japan, Germany, the US, France, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering and FATF.

An official report about Cambodia’s progress on these matters is expected to be submitted for approval at a FATF summit in October.

“After meeting with the Cambodian delegation, the evaluators of the ICRG-JG noted efforts that relevant Cambodian authorities had made in following action plans such as the promulgation of the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing law, mutual legal assistance in criminal affairs, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction law,” the NBC said.

Additionally, ICRG-JG took notice of Cambodian law enforcement efforts to prosecute money launderers.

The NBC could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

In late June, Cambodia promulgated the Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, the law combating proliferation financing and other relevant laws.

In February last year, the FATF put Cambodia on its grey list. But a Cambodian official emphasised that this was because the FATF had changed some of its conditions.

Transparency International Cambodia executive director Pech Pisey said: “Having legal and regulatory frameworks is positive and in the right direction.

“However, for Cambodia to be removed from the FATF grey list, the law must be applied effectively. Loopholes in the law remain an extreme concern in Cambodia.”

Cambodian police last week cracked down on fraud and money laundering in Phnom Penh after money was transferred from banks in the US to bank accounts in Cambodia.

During the crackdown, five suspects were detained. Of them, four were Nigerian nationals and one a Cambodian woman. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided to place the five in pre-trial detention on September 17, according to the National Police website.

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