THE Australian Embassy in Cambodia released an official announcement yesterday congrat-ulating Cambodia on the historic passing of new laws combatting money laundering and proliferation financing that has received Royal Assent and are now in effect.
“The enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism laws represents a significant milestone for the Cambodian Government and its people,” said Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.
“It is also a proud and historic moment in the bilateral relationship between our two countries, as we have worked in partnership to strengthen these laws together.”
Since 2018, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs and Attorney-General’s Department worked closely with Cambodian officials to improve the legislative framework to address transnational crime, including technical drafting advice for these laws.
Under the new laws, Cambodia will be able to implement targeted financial sanctions to deprive proliferation financiers of their funds, which will protect Cambodians from the threat of weapons of mass destruction.
Insiders hope the new laws will stop Cambodia being placed on the European Commission’s money laundering blacklist in October, as claimed by a Reuters journalist in May this year.
The European Commission’s draft proposal was said to be cited by the Reuters journalist and listed Cambodia as one of 12 nations that “pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union,” because of failings in tackling money laundering and terrorism financing.
Van David, a Cambodian businessman previously told Khmer Times that because Cambodia is a narrow and not a broad-based economy, an EU “blacklist” would have a devastating economic impact. He added, that the potential listing should be considered the biggest current economic threat to the country, more than the Everything but Arms (EBA) trade deal partial withdrawal and COVID-19 pandemic.