The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) launched the National Strategy for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (ML/FT) 2019-2023 on Thursday and provided stakeholders with a document outlining the key strategies to fight ML/FT in the next five years.
The national strategy for combating ML/FT – its second version since 2013 – comprises 10 key national strategies and objectives – including understanding and mitigating ML/TF risk, preventative measures and supervision and effective investigation of money laundering and predicate offence.
Speaking at the launch ceremony on Thursday, NBC governor Chea Chanto said the national strategy aims to serve as a comprehensive long-term roadmap for Cambodia, which enables all relevant ministries, institutions and other stakeholders to understand well their respective roles and responsibilities in contributing to the effectiveness of combating ML/FT in the Kingdom.
"The national strategy will serve as a compass to all relevant stakeholders in their respective responsibilities to build a strong system [to combat ML/FT] and enable Cambodia to participate with other countries in strengthening a [larger] system."
"All relevant parties need to continue to work hard and in a more unified manner to get the country out of the [Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s)] grey list as soon as possible."
The 2019-2023 national strategy was prepared with input from over 70 participants from across 22 ministries and agencies with technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The strategy emphasises the importance of key agencies and units responsible for the implementation of Cambodia’s anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) programmes.
High priority should be given to the effective implementation of AML/CFT measures by all key players in the Kingdom – the achievement of AML/CFT objectives is dependent on effective cooperation and coordination between key actors within agencies and among the relevant agencies.
IMF senior adviser Clive Scott said the effective implementation of the strategy will provide a beacon for the Kingdom to achieve its goals in combating ML/FT and other financial crime as well as for a speedy exit from FATF’s grey list.
He said donors may use the national strategy as a guide to determine what assistance they can provide.
"The national strategy launched today [Thursday] is an example of Cambodia’s progress in the coordination of its effort to implement AML/CFT law and policy. It should provide valuable tools to all stakeholders if they work towards improving Cambodia’s AML/CFT mechanisms," he said.
Global money-laundering watchdog FATF last month placed Cambodia on its "grey list" because of concerns that the Kingdom is vulnerable to the concealment of illegally acquired money.