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New MoU on financial crimes

Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, and Land Management Minister Chea Sophara meet during the signing of a memorandum to combat terrorism funding and money laundering. Fresh News
Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, and Land Management Minister Chea Sophara meet during the signing of a memorandum to combat terrorism funding and money laundering. Fresh News

New MoU on financial crimes

Cambodia’s Land Management Ministry has signed an agreement with the Kingdom’s committee to combat money laundering and terrorism funding.

High rates of corruption weakening the judiciary means the Kingdom has consistently been blacklisted on global indexes tracking susceptibility to terrorism financing and money laundering. Last year Cambodia scored ninth-worst in the world.

Though Cambodia’s score on that susceptibility index actually worsened compared

to 2016, its ranking improved due to even poorer performance in other countries.

The memorandum of understanding, signed on Tuesday, comes a day after the same committee, which includes Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son-in-law Dy Vichea, met with the Anti-Corruption Unit to report “progress”.

“We must think that we are standing on the spot of entering the grey list, therefore we have 15 months from July in 2017 until October next year to show our hard work . . . and even to improve on the weak points,” said ACU head Om Yentieng in audio obtained from Monday’s meeting.

“Continuing to educate, prevent and go against corruption are still core measures in reducing corruption to promote a clean society,” according to an ACU statement issued after the meeting.

The deal comes even as the government denies reports that lax controls in Cambodian banks and the Kingdom’s predominantly cash economy present opportunities for Chinese businesspeople to launder dirty money by buying up Cambodian real estate.

The National Bank of Cambodia, which is a member of the committee, did not respond to questions about Chinese money laundering through the Cambodian property market this week.

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