Mon, Nov 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Lai to lead public pledge against money laundering

SWORD OF DAMOCLES:Officials said Taiwan risks having all of its foreign transactions scrutinized if it fails to pass an evaluation by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering

By Lee Hsin-fang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Premier William Lai (賴清德) is to lead a public pledge on Wednesday declaring the government’s determination to fight money laundering, increase financial transparency and pass the third round of mutual evaluations by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) in November next year, sources said.

Taiwan joined the APG in 1997 as a founding member under the name “Chinese Taipei.”

In the first round of evaluations in 2007, Taiwan was placed on the regular follow-up list.

However, in the second round of evaluations in 2011, Taiwan was demoted to the enhanced follow-up list, which required a strict follow-up evaluation every four months.

In June, after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration pushed for an amendment, a revised Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法) took effect, aligning the nation’s efforts to prevent money laundering with those of the international community, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

At the APG annual meeting in Sri Lanka on July 20, Taiwan became the only nation to be officially removed from the 10-member list.

China would also be evaluated next year, but Taiwan faces greater pressure and will have to work hard to pass the evaluation, the sources said.

They added that Taiwan’s goal for next year’s APG evaluation should be to strive for a good evaluation to avoid sanctions, or in a worst-case scenario, strict reviews of all foreign transactions.

This would be disadvantageous for Taiwan’s financial activities, they added.

Nearly 20 government agencies, 50 government officials and numerous civic groups would attend Lai’s pledge, sources said.

Those invited include Prosecutor-General Yen Da-ho (顏大和), Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄), as well as officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the central bank, the Ministry of the Interior, the Council of Agriculture and the Executive Yuan’s Anti-Money Laundering Office, they added.

Officials said that representatives from eight state-run banks, the Bankers Association, the Life Insurance Association and other civic groups would be invited to a news conference at the Executive Yuan.

Apart from the pledge, the finance ministry and the Anti-Money Laundering Office are to host a running event on Sunday to boost the promotion of the campaign against anti-money laundering, the sources said.

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