Bank Negara leads fight against money laundering

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara will continue to lead the fight against money laundering through 973 reporting institutions, its Annual Report 2003 stated. 

Of the 973 reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla) 2003, 649 are moneychangers. 

The annual report released last week stated that since the Amla came into force on Jan 15, 2002, the requirement to report suspicious transactions was invoked on banking and Islamic banking institutions, insurance companies and Takaful operators, money changers and offshore entities. 

The amended Amla (2003) is aimed at extending the money laundering reporting mechanism of banks to include the reporting of suspected terrorism financing. 

The amended Act provides for measures to be taken for the detection and prevention of terrorism financing as well as for the freezing, seizure, and forfeiture of terrorist property. 

It is stated in the report that “Our implementation approach of extending the reach of the law incrementally ensures that the reporting institutions are well prepared and able to effectively comply with their obligations under the Amla. 

“Other non-financial institutions that are vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing will be brought under the Amla in stages.” 

“The Central Bank continues to work in collaboration with these reporting institutions (973) through regular dialogue sessions to ensure effective implementation of the Amla compliance programme,” the report added. 

Last Thursday, CID Director Comm Datuk Musa Hassan said police would use the Amla to go after operators of illegal vice dens and illegal gambling outlets. 

He said Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Omar had agreed to the setting up of the CID’s own Forfeiture of Property team. The Narcotics Division already has the power under the Forfeiture of Property Act to seize the ill-gotten gains of drug pushers. 

Comm Musa said the operators would have their assets seized if investigations revealed that they are ill-gotten gains from criminal activities.  

“The police would also go after such people even if their operations are protected by Datuks or Tan Sris,” he added. 

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