BANGI: Bank Negara has detected at least 800 suspicious transactions of funds involving hundreds of millions of ringgit through individual as well as corporate bank accounts locally and abroad.
The discovery was made after the central bank started checking the transactions since January last year when the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 took effect.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy said yesterday that Bank Negara was probing these transactions to determine if the funds that changed hands had been illegally obtained.
“The ministry and law enforcement agencies are serious in going after those involved in laundering dirty money,” he told reporters after opening an international course on financial investigative techniques organised by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) with the co-operation of the US Internal Revenue Service.
However, Chan said details of the investigations could not be revealed.
“Those involved in money laundering can be charged and have their assets forfeited if the cases are proven in court,” he said, citing the case of the M-16 gang.
US ambassador to Malaysia Marie T. Huhtala, who was invited to speak at the opening, commended Bank Negara for its effort in probing the 800 transactions within months after the Anti-Money Laundering Act was enforced.
Huhtala said judging from the level of difficulty involved in tracking down money laundering, the Malaysian Government and Bank Negara in particular had done a wonderful job in initiating probes on 800 transactions in just 13 months.
“Money laundering is a global problem and it is also big in the United States,'' she said, adding that Malaysia had taken a lead in the region in the fight against money laundering and to trace the ill-gotten gains.
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