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Cambodia grey-list removal in sight with sanctions workshop

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The I0.11 working group holds an online workshop for disseminating relevant laws. JUSTICE MINISTRY

Cambodia grey-list removal in sight with sanctions workshop

A working group of the ad-hoc sub-commission tasked with implementing the action plan of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) released an update on the activities it has undertaken to combat money laundering and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In a March 22 press statement, the working group in charge of implementing Immediate Outcome 11, or IO.11, on the proliferation of financial sanctions said it had conducted a third workshop to disseminate the relevant law.

The workshop targeted officials from the relevant ministries and institutions as well as non-reporting entities, according to the statement.

The March 18 workshop was led by Ministry of Justice secretary of state Chiv Songhak, who is chair of the working group, along with Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ngy Chanphal and Financial Intelligence Unit head Say Sam Ath.

The workshop was attended by 171 people from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, National Bank of Cambodia, and the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, among others.

Justice ministry’s Songhak told The Post on March 23 that the workshop targeted key individuals who had not yet received the training.

“This workshop provided training that will strengthen the monitoring institutions. We are disseminating this law widely, including to the general public,” he said.

The training was aimed at monitoring institutions because their role is to observe the private sector. The workshop will be conducted once or twice more this year, he added.

“We must write a report on our activities and submit it to the evaluation team to see whether Cambodia has earned the right to be removed from the ‘grey list’,” he said, referring to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) list of countries whose enforcement efforts to combat money laundering are considered subpar.

The FATF – an intergovernmental body formed to combat money laundering in July, 1989, at the G7 summit – maintains the grey list as well as a “black list” of countries that are found to be actively abetting money laundering or inhibiting investigations.

“If enough people are made aware of the importance of enforcing this law, then we will have fulfilled our obligations and can be removed from the list,” Songhak said.

The working group will submit its fourth round report in April, with APG expected to issue its evaluation in June, he added.

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