Singapore Ramps Up Efforts to Police Money Laundering Challenges

The partnership will help Singapore’s capabilities in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Singapore is taking more concerted efforts in 2017 to help police its domestic infrastructure, looking to ramp up its defenses against money laundering and terrorism financing. This has culminated in a new pact between the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force.

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The newly inked government-industry partnership will aim to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. This area of focus has metastasized across the financial services industry over the past few years, leading to a litany of security challenges, hacks, and other episodes of money laundering or abuse.

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While cyber security has always been on MAS’ radar, the uptick of recent high profile hacks worldwide, including last year’s breach of a SWIFT network, has helped muster more resources and resolve in the country as it looks to shore up any vulnerabilities. Last week, over forty people in Singapore also lost a reported $1.7 million as part of an unregulated binary options trading racket, promoting a response from domestic authorities.

Expanded Mandate

As such, MAS and CAD’s union will see a new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Industry Partnership (ACIP) that brings together selected industry participants, regulators, law enforcement agencies and other government entities to collaboratively identify, assess and mitigate the key risks facing Singapore. The ACIP will also aim to help foster the detection and mitigation of transnational risks arising from Singapore’s position as an international financial center and trade hub.

Per the partnership, the ACIP will comprise a Steering Group that is fully supported by Working Groups, which will eye specific risk areas and topics relevant money laundering or terrorism financing. The Steering Group will be co-chaired jointly by CAD and MAS, constituting a total of eight banks and the Association of Banks in Singapore.

The group’s paramount focus will be to prioritize money laundering and terrorism financing risks and capabilities, also commissioning various Working Groups to study these risks further.

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