Cambodia ‘ripe’ for money laundering

Cambodia is also the only “high-risk” country in Southeast Asia.

The report noted that it could only measure risk of money-laundering and terrorism financing since most of it occurs in “absolute secrecy”.

Bridget Di Certo
Thursday, 10 May 2012

Cambodia is ripe for money-laundering and terrorist financing activities due to rampant corruption, banking-sector secrecy and an overall lack of financial transparency, a governance institute says in a report released this week.

The Switzerland-based Basel Institute on Governance has ranked Cambodia the third “highest-risk” country out of 144 listed for its failure to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards.

Cambodia’s ranking is based on standards and other “risk categories such as financial regulations, public transparency, corruption and rule of law”, according to the report’s authors.

Cambodia’s risk score is 8.46 out of 10, only slightly lower than Iran, which had the highest score at 8.57.

Cambodia is also the only “high-risk” country in Southeast Asia.

The report noted that it could only measure risk of money-laundering and terrorism financing since most of it occurs in “absolute secrecy”.

Transparency International executive director Kol Preap said the lack of transparency in Cambodia’s banking sector was paramount.

“Any significant amount of money could be channelled through this system of secrecy,” Kol Preap said yesterday.

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