Steps urged to tackle money laundering

Kathmandu, August 5:

Experts involved with the financial sector have underscored the need to take effective steps to prevent money laundering to save the economy and country from slipping into chaos. At a programme organised by the Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Ltd (SCBNL), K T Mathew, area head of Financial Crime Risk, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank said that money

laundering is the process by which criminals hide and disguise the true ‘origin and ownership’ of the proceeds of their criminal activities which needs to be stopped. Mathew said that money laundering is done in any country to influence politics, destroy the economy and boost criminal and other undesirable activities. Therefore, he added, institutions should be very careful in this aspect. Talking about the recommendations made by Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Mathew said that reporting of suspicious activities, strong internal policies, regulations and supervisions, establishment of financial intelligence unit, mutual legal assistance and extradition are some of the measures to be adopted to prevent risk in financial dealings.

There is a need to be cautious about cash transfers to prevent money laundering, he said. He also said that some principles of anti-money laundering are transaction monitoring, retention of records, training and awareness and report of suspicious activities. Mathew also talked about risk-based approach and importance of know your customer (KYC) information as a part of an effective money laundering prevention regime, which will help to obtain the real money laundering risks associated with different products and relationships. Sujit Mundul, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Ltd (SCBNL), has said that money-laundering problems

have been further compounded in recent times for which timely steps are required. Present at the discussion meeting were governor Bijay Nath Bhattarai of Nepal Rastra Bank, deputy governors and executive directors of NRB, Basu Dev Ram Joshi, chairman of Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) and audit manager, Sudarshan Raj Pandey.