AML amendment bills near final reading

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The chairman of the third standing committee of the Legislative Assembly, Cheang Chi Keong, said that the amendment bills for the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations will be ready for submission for a final reading in the second half of next month.
The bills, which passed the first reading last November, propose expanding the city’s current law to cover suspects who have unsuccessfully attempted to launder money. The amendments also seek to strengthen the review measures by gaming operators of their clients or contractors.
According to the sub-committee president, the bills are conditional for submission if there is no other issue arising with the official documents provided by the government.
Mr. Cheang added that the government insists separating the upstream crimes of money laundering from the crime of money laundering itself in order to avoid the city from being listed on negative lists by international associations.
He also said that the city’s Prosecutor’s Office has received a number of reports on money-laundering but it is unable to open files for investigation if the sources of the money involved are unclear.
Currently, the MSAR Government has inked memorandums of understanding with over 10 regions such as Israel and Mainland China to help in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing activities by facilitating the exchange of financial information between territories.