Premier confident Taiwan will pass money laundering evaluation

Taipei, Premier Lai Ching-te (???) expressed confidence on Wednesday that Taiwan will pass an evaluation by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) later this year because of efforts shoring up laws and institutions combating money laundering.

Lai spoke on the matter at a ceremony highlighting the publication of the first domestic risk assessment report on money laundering and terrorism financing, a joint effort of 37 government agencies and 31 private organizations.

The APG has been conducting its third round of what it calls "mutual evaluations" since 2014 to determine if economies in the region are complying with international "anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism" (AML/CFT) standards.

Taiwan was placed on the group's regular follow-up watchlist after its second round mutual evaluation in 2007 and relegated to an "enhanced" follow-up list after a poor review in 2011.

Lai said Taiwan has worked hard since then to amend its Money Laundering Control Act and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act and establish an Anti-Money Laundering Office of the Cabinet.

The government's newly released report, which pinpointed nine weaknesses in Taiwan's prevention system, including drug smuggling, fraud, corruption and securities crime, confirmed that the country has been targeting the right issues with its reforms, Lai said.

Justice Minister Chiu Tai-san (???), who was extremely involved with the research for the report, said it will be updated in three years, and will continue to be updated every three to five years after that to address new global trends and crime patterns.

Earlier last month, the Legislature passed a bill on international mutual judicial and legal assistance in criminal matters, which ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tuan Yi-kang (???) said will help Taiwan prepare for the upcoming APG evaluation in November.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel