TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan has been taken off an Asia Pacific watchlist of countries thought to have insufficient anti-money laundering controls for the first time in 10 years, a senior Ministry of Justice official told the Reuters news agency Wednesday.
The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) held a meeting in Sri Lanka last week, where it decided that only one of ten jurisdictions, namely Taiwan, qualified to be removed from the watchlist, Deputy Justice Minister Tsai Pi-chung (蔡碧仲) said.
The APG did not immediately comment on the statement, Reuters reported.
Taiwan first appeared on the organization’s watchlist in 2007 as it failed to keep up with necessary prevention measures and control of international financial crime, reports said. In 2011, the island was downgraded even further to be added to a reinforced follow-up list.
Earlier this year, Taiwan formed a special anti-money laundering office under the Cabinet, while legislation has gone into effect expanding requirements for the reporting of suspicious financial transactions by clients, for the supervision of capital flows by certain politicians and their friends and relatives, and for fines for banks which do not cooperate fully with official investigations.