Thailand 5th in Asean on latest money laundering index


BANGKOK: Thailand ranks fifth in Asean in the latest annual global index of money laundering risks. The Basel AML index ranked Thailand 45th out of 152 countries globally for money laundering risks with a score of 5.82 points – 0.02 points higher in risk than last year.

However, Thailand’s global ranking improved by five places.

The lower the score, the better the country is performing in handling money laundering and terror financing.

Singapore did best in Asean this year with 4.30 points for a world ranking of 118th followed by Brunei (4.38).

Myanmar did worst, with a score of 8.13, followed by Laos (7.44), Vietnam (6.96), and Cambodia (6.78) and Philippines (5.64).

Malaysia ranked 72 with a score of 5.21 points, below Indonesia which was at 82nd place with a score of 5.01.

The score is based on 18 indicators of money laundering and terror financing (ML/TF) across five domains.

Global ML/TF risks are rising, according to this year’s ranking. Governments are facing challenges in imposing financial sanctions on the practice, from identifying owners of companies to outsmarting enablers of money laundering and sanctions evasion.

“And that has a real impact on people’s lives today – from well-funded terrorist attacks to trillions of dollars flowing out of countries through corruption and organised crime,” said the index report.

Risks increased in four of the five domains measured: corruption and bribery, financial transparency and standards, public transparency and accountability, and political/legal risks.

The report underlined the role in financial crimes of new technologies such as cryptocurrency, saying countries need to focus on regulation, supervision, and enforcement on clearly identified risks.

“It is the only way to foster a thriving FinTech industry while protecting financial integrity, crypto users and investors,” it said.

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