Three weeks after Cambodia was included in a major list of nations vulnerable to money laundering, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) yesterday launched its strategy to combat financial crimes.
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The National Strategy for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for 2019-2023 aims to serve as a comprehensive, long-term roadmap for the government, helping ministries, institutions and agencies better understand their respective roles and responsibilities in combating AML/CFT, Chea Chanto, NBC governor, said.
Mr Chanto said the plan was drafted with the cooperation of 22 institutions and was technically and financially supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and endorsed by the Cambodia Financial Intelligence Unit (CAFIU).
“The National AML/CFT Strategy for 2019-2023 is designed to provide comprehensive guidance for the effective implementation of Cambodia’s AML/CFT regime.
“At the highest level the strategies and objectives contained in this document are designed to prevent property from being laundered through Cambodian financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs); detect proceeds of crime and property connected with terrorism financing when it is laundered; and ensure that law enforcement agencies work effectively together to investigate, prosecute, sanction and confiscate the proceeds and instruments of money laundering and terrorism financing offenses.
Mr Chanto said that Cambodia has been strengthening the legal and institutional framework and improving its human resources in line with the country’s economic and financial growth.
“All the parties involved must try and work together to get Cambodia off the grey list as soon as possible,” he said.
Last month, global money-laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) placed the Kingdom on a list of countries “highly vulnerable to money laundering” following reports that show its judicial system has high levels of corruption and that it lacks the will to investigate financial crimes.
Clive Scott, IMF Asia-Pacific advisor on AML/CFT, said the strategy is an important step to get the country get off FAFT’s list.
“This strategy is a major development in Cambodia’s fight to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorism financing,” Mr Scott said.
“It will help minimise threats from money laundering and terrorism financing but we have more work to do to prevent these activities from happening in Cambodia,” he added.