Asia Pacific Group In Money laundering (Asia)
The origins of the APG go back to “awareness-raising” activities undertaken by the FATF in the early 1990s as part of its strategy to encourage the adoption of money laundering counter-measures throughout the world. In 1995 an Asia-Pacific regional office called the “FATF-Asia Secretariat” was founded and funded by the government of Australia.
In collaboration with other international bodies, that secretariat operated with countries in the Asia-Pacific to create a wide regional commitment to execute anti-money laundering policies and initiatives and obtain agreement to create a more permanent regional anti-money laundering body.
The effort includes assisting countries and territories of the region in enacting laws to deal with the proceeds of crime, mutual legal assistance, confiscation, forfeiture and extradition; guiding in setting up systems for reporting and investigating suspicious transactions and helping in the establishment of financial intelligence units.
The APG also enables regional factors to be taken into account in the implementation of anti-money laundering measures. As per http://www.apgml.org/ “Symposia were then held in Hong Kong, China in October 1995; in November 1996; and in Tokyo, Japan in December 1995.
At the Fourth (and last) symposium in Bangkok, Thailand in February 1997, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) was officially established as an autonomous regional anti-money laundering body by unanimous agreement among 13 original founding members. A new secretariat was also established to serve as the focal point for APG activities to be located in Sydney, Australia.”
The APG has expanded considerably ever since 1997 and is part of a global network of parallel bodies, referred to as FATF -FSRB(Financial Action Task Force-Style Regional Bodies) and is the major in terms of membership numbers and geographical size. The APG also has a huge number of spectators (both jurisdictions and supporting organisations) that participate in its programmes and activities.
Few key international organisations that support the APG comprise the World Bank, OECD, Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, INTERPOL and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
The APG has five key functions: (source: http://www.apgml.org/)
- Mutual evaluations: The APG assesses the levels of compliance by its member jurisdictions with the global AML/CFT standards through a mutual evaluation (peer review) programme.
- Technical assistance and training: The APG Secretariat coordinate bi-lateral and donor-agency technical assistance and training in the Asia/Pacific region for its member jurisdictions to improve compliance with the global standards;
- Typologies research: Research and analysis into money laundering and terrorist financing methods and trends is a key function of the APG to assist policy and lawmakers and law enforcement agencies and the general public in identifying and responding to new and emerging trends, methods, risks and vulnerabilities.
- Global engagement: The APG contributes to international AML/CFT policy development and actively engages with the global network of FSRBs. The APG also participates in several FATF working groups and its plenary meetings; and
- Private sector engagement: Private sector engagement is critical to the APG’s overall objectives. The APG actively engages with financial and non-financial institutions, NPOs, training centres and universities in the Asia-Pacific to better inform the general public and specialists about global issues relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.
The APG also helps its members to create national coordination mechanisms to utilise resources in a superior way to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
The APG’s purpose, mission and goals are described in the core strategic and business planning documents of the APG:
- Terms of Reference.
- Strategic Plan; and
- Annual Business Plan.
|Vietnam||The Marshall Islands, Republic of|
|United States of America||Malaysia|
|Timor Leste||Lao People’s Democratic Republic|
|Thailand||Korea, Republic of (South Korea)|
|Singapore||Hong Kong, China|
|Papua New Guinea||China, People’s Republic of|
|New Zealand||Bhutan, Kingdom of|
Few important organizations that are APG observers are:
- ASEAN Secretariat
- Asian Development Bank
- Europian Commission
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- United Nations
- UN Office on Drugs and Crime
- World Bank
The eight Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional bodies (FSRBs) mentioned below are also the observers of APG:
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