Mon, May 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

New money rules target key politicians

IMPROVED ENFORCEMENT:The period during which the government officials would be subject to regulation after leaving office would depend on their influence

By Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

Eighteen categories of government officials, including the president and vice president, would be subjected to strict regulations against money laundering to ensure financial transparency and stability, according to a draft act prepared by the Ministry of Justice.

An amendment to the Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法), which was approved last year and is to take effect on June 28, stipulates that financial institutions and certain non-financial agencies must improve their review of clients who hold key political offices, as well as their relatives and close associates, to assess and manage the risk of money laundering.

Transaction records of the people covered by the act must be preserved, according to the amendment.

The ministry, which has prepared bills pertaining to the amendment following discussions with the financial sector, yesterday announced a draft act to determine the government officials who would be subjected to stringent financial vetting process.

The draft act stipulates improved enforcement of money laundering laws for the president and vice president; legislators; mayors; county commissioners; council speakers; ministers; directors of political parties; Presidential Office and National Security Council secretaries-general and their deputies; the Academia Sinica president and vice president; presidents, vice presidents, secretaries-general and deputy secretaries-general of the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Control Yuan and Examination Yuan; members of the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan; justices and the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court; ambassadors and diplomatic representatives; directors of military units ranking lieutenant general or higher; and directors and general managers of state-run businesses.

The ministry can also put officials tasked with the fulfillment of major public policies or the management of national or public assets of sizeable financial value, under regulation, according to the draft act.

Relatives of key officials to be regulated include their parents, children, siblings, spouses and their siblings, or partners living with them.

Close associates of key officials include their employers or employees, business partners, people having close business ties with the officials and directors of the organizations or unions of which the officials are members.

The duration during which the government officials would be subject to regulation after they leave office would depend on their influence, which is judged by the time they were in office and the connection between their former positions and future positions, according to the draft act.

If it is judged that a retired official should be placed under regulation, their relatives and close associates would also to be regulated, the draft act stipulates.

Tightened control on the financial activities of key government officials is not expected to discourage the private sector from hiring retired officials as company directors or independent directors, although their employment would subject the company to stricter regulation against money laundering, the ministry said.

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