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$4b money laundering uncovered last year
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08:18, September 05, 2008

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China uncovered 89 cases of money laundering involving a total of 28.8 billion yuan ($4.17 billion) last year, the People's Bank of China said.

A total of 350 financial institutions in 2007 were punished for violations of anti-money laundering rules and regulations, including 341 banks, four securities and futures firms, and five insurers.

Meanwhile, the police and the central bank launched more than 50 campaigns to clamp down on 43 underground banks and detained 180 suspects.

"The year 2007 marked the establishment of China's anti-money laundering system," said Su Ning, vice-governor of the central bank.

Last June, China joined the Financial Action Task Force, an international organization fighting money laundering. The nation passed its first anti-money-laundering law in 2006 and then required all lenders to report any suspicious transactions in a timely manner.

Since last October, all securities and insurance companies have been required to send data on dubious deals to the anti-money laundering monitoring center of the central bank.

The central bank has joined forces with the Ministry of Public Security to set up a network to check the identity of bank customers. By the end of last year, it set up anti-money laundering agencies in all of its provincial branches.

China's anti-money laundering efforts have also benefited the nation's lenders.

Last November, China Merchants Bank Co, got the green light from the US Federal Reserve Board to open a branch in New York.

The Fed later said it decided to approve the application as Chinese regulators had taken adequate steps to clamp down on money laundering, a key requirement for operating in the US.

Source: China Daily

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