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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that the country’s banks are enhancing security measures to prevent illicit cash flow and combat digital terrorist financing through virtual assets.
According to the MAS, Singapore firms are strengthening their security and risk assessment measures for potential money laundering and terrorist financing after seizing over $2 billion in the money laundering raid earlier this year from cyberattackers. The MAS published the Financial Stability Review, comparing April’s AML measures. They noticed the financial firms take severe steps against money laundering and terrorist financing, whilst the most considerable perceived risk continued to be macro-financial risk brought on by higher interest rates and weaker economic growth.
The MAS stated, “money laundering and terrorism financing will continue to be a major challenge for global financial hubs, given their open capital accounts and large gross capital inflows.” The MAS also forced the regulatory bodies to engage with the financial industry, supervise the customer due diligence, and assist them in identifying as well as disrupting money laundering. Additionally, MAS urged financial institutes to comply with international measures to secure the AML system. It also forces regulatory bodies to ensure financial firms have adequate internal controls and procedures to detect, prevent, and mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks. The MAS also encourages financial institutions to adopt robust technology and the latest obligations to detect and prevent money laundering.
The MAS report also claimed that Singapore police have already blocked or confiscated assets worth over US $2 billion, including over 150 houses in the biggest probe of money laundering. It is a signal to secure the integrity of the country’s economic environment from various financial crimes. However, an investigation is still underway to see if the accused received illegal profits from international gambling operations and to monitor suspected banks that are involved in this scam. MAS also imposed hefty penalties on financial institutions that failed to comply with the AML requirements. Additionally, it urges them to report suspicious activities of the client and enhance real-time monitoring. According to the MAS, financial institutions must also provide regular reports and updates on their AML efforts.