BRUNEI is stepping up its efforts to combat terrorism financing and money laundering by establishing regional and international cooperation.
Underscoring its commitment to eradicate money laundering and terrorism financing, the Sultanate signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lao People’s Democratic Republic on Wednesday on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Financial Intelligence Unit, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (FIU, AMBD) and the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office, National Coordination Committee for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism of Laos (AMLIO) inked the MoU.
“Under the MoU, both agencies agree to cooperate in the exchange of financial intelligence that may assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering and terrorism financing. This marks the strong commitment of both agencies in the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” AMBD said in a press statement yesterday.
The MoU with AMLIO is the seventh such agreement FIU, AMBD has signed. Current MoUs include those signed with the financial intelligence units of Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Singapore. The signing of MoUs is an important step towards complying with international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, in particular the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendation 29, the statement noted.
FIU, AMBD and AMLIO are the central agencies in Brunei Darussalam and Lao People’s Democratic Republic respectively for receiving, requesting, analysing and disseminating disclosures of suspicious transaction reports and other information related to money laundering and terrorism financing.
The APG is an inter-governmental anti-money laundering body and part of a global network of similar bodies such as the FATF. Over 500 participants from over 50 countries and regions gathered in Kathmandu to discuss measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing and they called for making available advance technology to regulatory and supervisory authorities to track the illicit flow of money which could potentially be used by terrorists.
The annual meeting that kicked off on July 21 will continue until today. Participants will also hold discussions on governance, mutual evaluation reports and policy matters, according to APG.
Money laundering is the process that criminals use to “clean” the money they make from crimes, such as fraud, illegal drug deals, and tax evasion. People, who finance terrorism, use similar methods to channel funds to money launderers for violent causes and to disguise those who provide and receive the money.
Hence, the International Monetary Fund, in recent years, has been assuming a greater role in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.