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Gangsters laundering money face tougher law
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-16 01:28

China is drafting a special law to fight money laundering, the China Youth Daily reported Thursday.

The law has been listed in the legislative programme for the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, according to the report.

A team responsible for making the draft bill has been formed in March, and is now studying on a framework draft, the report said.

Meanwhile, an anti-laundering monitoring and analysis centre has been established, the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald reported.

Under the administration of the People's Bank of China, the centre shoulders four tasks: collecting information on dubious trades, analysis of the information, submitting the results to judicial and law enforcement departments, and exchanging information with foreign counterparts.

"Establishing such an intelligence department is an international practice against laundering," the report quoted an anonymous source within the People's Bank of China as saying.

"It is also a fulfillment of China's promises when it joined the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime last August and the UN Convention Against Corruption last December," the source said.

At present, 84 countries and regions have already set up anti-laundering departments. As the developed countries have strengthened their efforts against the crime, laundering has been spreading to developing countries.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that 200 to 300 billion yuan (US$24 to 36 billion) is laundered annually in China, which signals a serious situation, the report said.

Overseas "black money" is laundered in China in the name of "investment," while illegal income generated by drug trafficking, smuggling, gangland crimes and corruption on Chinese mainland has been laundered through various channels, the report said.

However, the current legal system still needs improvements.

The Criminal Law of China states that only four kinds of crimes can lead to the crime of laundering, Yu Guangyuan, head of the bill-drafting team, was quoted by China Youth Daily.

The four crimes are trafficking of drugs, smuggling, terrorist activities and gangland crimes.

Yu said almost all serious crimes, including corruption and bribery, should be ruled as crimes that can lead to laundering.

Lack of legal support has failed to strike hard on laundering of illegal income generated by embezzlement and bribe-taking. It has proved to be an important reason for rampant developing corruption, the newspaper said.

"Enacting an anti-laundering law will facilitate the crackdown on such crime," the anonymous source with the People's Bank of China said.

At present, the People's Bank of China, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange have reached an initial agreement on co-operating on fighting money-laundering, Yu said.

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