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Taiwan soon to rise to top anti-money laundering review category

2019/08/25 18:05:29

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) Taiwan will soon officially rise to the top category in a global index on anti-money laundering after Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) members recently approved a previous peer review, Taiwan's Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said Sunday.

In a statement, the AMLO said the APG issued a report in late June that placed Taiwan in the "regular follow-up" list following the third round of a peer assessment by the group's members earlier this year.

That assessment was approved by APG members during the APG's 22nd annual meeting held from Aug. 18 to 23 in Canberra, the AMLO said in the statement.

The approval should officially put Taiwan in the most favorable "regular follow-up" category for APG members. The other categories in which members can be placed are "enhanced follow-up," "transitional follow-up" and "non-cooperation."

The change should occur in about six weeks, after the AGP officially finalizes the decision, the AMLO said.

Once Taiwan moves up in the ranking, it will join Macau, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Cook Islands as one of the five of the APG's 41 members in the top-tier ranking for anti-money laundering efforts, reflected government efforts in this area, the AMLO said.

The APG uses a "mutual evaluation," or peer review, to assess the degree to which its members comply with international standards in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The AMLO previously said Taiwan made it onto the "regular follow-up" list because it had secured seven "substantial" ratings out of 11 factors used to measure a country's effectiveness in fighting money-laundering and terrorist financing.

Each factor is rated for "high," "substantial," "moderate," or "low" effectiveness.

Taiwan first joined the APG in 1997 as one of its founding members under the name Chinese Taipei.

It was placed in the "regular follow-up" list in 2007, requiring it to report back two years after the evaluation.

But the country was demoted in 2011 to "enhanced follow-up," requiring it to report back one year after the evaluation.

It was then placed on the "transitional follow-up list" in 2014 after making some improvements and was removed from that list on July 20, 2017.

If a member country lands on the lowest-tier "non-cooperation" list, it could face sanctions which will seriously hurt the reputation of a country's financial sector and put it at a major disadvantage in engaging in international finance, according to the APG.(By Ku Chuan and Joseph Yeh)

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