Mon, Nov 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Money laundering, counterterrorism laws pass third legislative readings

Staff writer

Respect for the law is paramount for the prevention of money laundering, the Ministry of Justice said, adding that it is only when government, society and industry have a clear concept of respect for the law that money laundering can be effectively and thoroughly prevented.

The Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法) was overhauled in 2016 and the amendments implemented last year, having been reviewed at four separate large-scale national risk assessment meetings and many mock mutual evaluations involving organizations from both the public and private sectors, and assessed by international experts. All of these revealed shortcomings in the internal control systems stipulated by current regulations.

The 2016 amendments addressed the shortcomings identified during the second round of mutual evaluations, the ministry said, although the following round of evaluations revealed that issues remained, especially in terms of internal inspection mechanisms, control procedures and training.

More than a year after the implementation of the amended version, and following international expert reviews, it became clear that Taiwan had to quickly integrate respect for the law in the legal system, and that the shortcomings had to be addressed before the third round of mutual evaluations at the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), it said.

Thanks to cooperation between the public and private sectors, the amendment of some of the articles in both the Money Laundering Control Act and the Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (資恐防制法) on Friday passed the third legislative reading.

The amendments address many of the shortcomings in legal compliance in Taiwan, and it is a positive development ahead of the APG’s mutual evaluation meeting this week, the ministry said.

As a reflection of international attention and demands that virtual assets should be included in money laundering prevention regulations, the current amendments also include virtual currency platforms and trading businesses. This serves the double purpose of complying with international regulations and completes the nation’s money laundering prevention system, it said.

Major financial incidents have taken place in Taiwan in recent years, which had a major impact on the international community’s view of Taiwan’s finance industry, the ministry said.

Success at the APG meeting this week thanks to the amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Counter-Terrorism Financing Act would demonstrate that Taiwan has a culture of respecting the law and that monetary flows are orderly, the ministry said, adding this would also be beneficial to Taiwan’s domestic legal system and the international exchanges of Taiwanese businesses.

The ministry thanked the Legislative Yuan, the Executive Yuan, the Financial Supervisory Commission, other institutions and the public and private sectors for their support and assistance in the amendment of these laws.

The Ministry of Justice, the Financial Supervisory Commission, the Judicial Yuan’s Department of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance have completed the drafting of related laws which will be promulgated once the amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Counter-Terrorism Financing Act take effect, it added.

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