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HK to revise laws on anti-money laundering
Updated: 2005-02-16 10:18

Hong Kong will revise its relevant legislations to comply with the latest international anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorist financing standards (CFT), a government official said in HK Tuesday.

The revised legislations will cover six more categories of designated non-financial business and professions to perform the role of "gatekeeper" against money laundering activities, Rosanna Ure Lui Hang Sai, commissioner for Narcotics, Narcotics Division, Security Bureau, Government of HKSAR said at a press conference.

The six categories are casinos, real estate agents, dealers in precious metals and stones, trust and company service providers, lawyers and accountants.

These categories of "gatekeeper" as well as the financial institutions will be required to comply with the basic obligations of customer due diligence, record keeping and suspicious transaction reporting, Rosanna Lui said.

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), an inter-governmental body formed in 1989, sets international standards and develops and promotes policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

It adopted and issued the latest version of Forty Recommendations and the Special Recommendation IX (SR IX) in June 2003 and October 2004, respectively, which have been recognized by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as the international standards for assessing governments' efforts in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

To ensure that all members will comply with the latest international AML and CFT standards, the FATF has launched the third round of "Mutual Evaluation" of members in early 2005, Rosanna Lui said.

If Hong Kong does not implement the new set of Forty Recommendations and SR IX, it will run the risk of being assessed as non-compliant by the FATF, Rosanna Lui added.

Hong Kong has been a member of FATF since 1990 and is actively involved in its AML and CFT activities.

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