Macau with good progress in addressing anti-money laundering deficiencies – Evaluation report

The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) report on Macau was reviewed and approved by all members of the group with the SAR considered to have made good progress in addressing its anti-money laundering ‘deficiencies’.

According to the report, Macau has made good progress in ‘addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2017 mutual evaluation report, including through drafting revised legislation and guidelines’, and has been upgraded on three Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

The document, which provides a summary of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in Macau, had been finalized in August, after the territory became the first world jurisdiction to obtain positive ratings from the 40 FAFT recommendations.

Earlier this month, the first Macau Progress Report of 2019, which was approved by the GPA plenary, was subject to a review process by members of FATF to ensure compliance with international standards.

The Financial Intelligence Office (GIF) is the local entity responsible for coordinating anti-money laundering and prevention of terrorism financing with the APG being an inter-governmental organisation with 41 member jurisdictions and a number of observer jurisdictions and international/regional observer organisations.

GIF also announced that in the first three quarters of this year, Macau registered 2,089 suspicious transactions, down 32.2 per cent year-on-year from the same period of 2018

According to GIF the decrease was due to the number of suspicious transactions reported “by the financial sector and other institutions.”

Most of the complaints were from gaming operators (66.2 per cent) with 1,382 registrations, and from financial institutions and insurance companies (30.6 per cent) with 649 participations, while other institutions reported 67 (3.2 per cent).

In 2018, Macau registered 3,716 suspicious transaction reports, up 20.45 per cent from 2017.

Referred sectors, such as casinos, are required to report to the authorities any transaction equal to or greater than MOP500,000 patacas under the Anti-Money Laundering and Tourism Financing Act.

*With Lusa