Financial intelligence agreement signed by ROC, Holy See

A memorandum of understanding on strengthening cooperation in tackling money laundering, terrorism financing and associated offenses was concluded by the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Holy See May 15 in Vatican City.

The accord will facilitate the exchange of financial intelligence information between the Investigation Bureau under the ROC Ministry of Justice and the Financial Information Authority (AIF) of the Holy See. The pact was inked by Lee Hung-chin, head of the Investigation Bureau's Anti-Money Laundering Division, and AIF director Tommaso Di Ruzza, with ROC Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S. M. Lee witnessing the signing.

Under the agreement, the diplomatic allies will share financial intelligence data based on the principles and guidelines of the Egmont Group, an international organization that works to facilitate cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing as well as bolster the implementation of domestic programs to this effect. The group comprises 152 financial units worldwide including those of the ROC and the Holy See.

According to the ROC's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the new agreement highlights the robust ties between the two allies as well as ongoing efforts on both sides to further deepen meaningful exchanges and cooperation.

This marks the first time that the Holy See has signed such an agreement with an Asia-Pacific nation. It becomes the 42nd country to sign an anti-money laundering pact with Taiwan, joining among others Canada, South Korea and the U.S.

The ROC has maintained close ties and cooperation with the Holy See since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides in 1942. In September last year, Vice President Chen Chien-jen visited the Vatican to attend the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. During the trip, Chen conveyed his highest regards to Pope Francis on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen and the people of Taiwan.

Source: Taiwan Today