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MALAYSIA: High marks for anti-money-laundering campaign

While Malaysia’s premier faces tough questions over the origin of hundreds of millions of dollars transferred to his bank accounts, the country has tentatively received good grades for its anti-money-laundering efforts from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The global body, which monitors how countries fight illicit financial flows, reported that Malaysia had put in place a “robust policy framework” to combat money laundering, but that it needs to be more effective in targeting high-risk offenses and pay more attention to transnational crime.

It states that Malaysia has up-to-date anti-money-laundering laws, a “well-structured interagency cooperation framework,” disseminates “good-quality financial intelligence” to law enforcement agencies, and has been successful in confiscating assets to combat tax evasion and goods smuggling.

FATF does offer some reservations regarding Malaysia’s performance, noting that while its apparatus for conducting investigations and prosecutions is generally sound, the country had “produced minimal outcomes” and was “not effectively targeting its high-risk offences.” It also states that, to date, Malaysia had not prosecuted any cases related to the financing of terrorism.  Reuters

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