Updated legislation to advance Macao’s anti-money laundering effort

The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Leong Vai Tac, speaks to reporters.

The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Leong Vai Tac, said he was confident that recently updated local legislation would facilitate prosecutions regarding suspected money laundering crimes, and lead to a higher incidence of convictions for such offences.

Mr Leong said the Government would continue to optimise its anti-money laundering work, after the city obtained six “substantial effectiveness” ratings – regarding the effectiveness of its supervision efforts against money laundering – in the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) 2017.

The Government was not complacent regarding the positive commentary contained in the report, the Secretary said on Saturday (22 July) during a press briefing.

The mutual evaluation recognised the comprehensive nature of Macao’s monitoring mechanisms for its gaming industry and finance sectors. Nonetheless, the Government would seek to ensure consistent effort in its review, analysis and optimisation of Macao’s anti-money laundering work – in line with recommendations of international agencies – while adapting to new developments emerging in the local gaming and finance sectors, Mr Leong said.

The 2017 mutual evaluation recognised the technical compliance of the Government’s legal framework – in relation to international recommendations – as well as the effectiveness in implementation of measures against money laundering, terrorist financing and financing leading to proliferation of non-conventional weapons.

The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, an associate member of the Financial Task Action Force, currently has a 41-jurisdiction membership and a number of international and regional observers. This was Macao’s third mutual evaluation since becoming a member of APG in 2001.

In other comments, Mr Leong said he was saddened by recent fatal incidents on construction sites in Macao, and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Following the incidents, the Government had issued a total of 31 suspension notices, issued 101 fines and made 150 suggestions for safety improvements after inspecting more than 550 construction sites across Macao. The Government had held meetings with the construction sector, professional groups and labour associations, with the aim of strengthening occupational safety at all sites and enhancing safety training, added Mr Leong.

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