The 15th annual plenary of Asia/Pacific Group (APG) has accepted Nepal's request to keep the country under regular follow up instead of enhanced follow up due to its improved performance in fighting against the flow of dirty money.
"Its good news within the APG reporting framework," said deputy governor of the central bank Maha Prasad Adhikari from Brisbane, where the APG is meeting since July 16.
"We have been spared from the heavy burden of frequent reporting," he said, adding that the country's reforms in fighting money laundering during the last one year has impressed the annual meeting.
The Nepali delegation — that includes officials from the Law Ministry, Financial Information Unit under the central bank, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, newly formed AML Department, Nepal Police, besides the central bank deputy governor — will return on July 22.
Last July, the 14th annual meeting of APG had approved Nepal’s mutual evaluation report in implementing international standards to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Nepal was recommended a slew of reforms last year and this week's enhanced follow up approved the reforms and accepted the country for a regular follow up instead of an enhanced follow up.
Nepal became a member of the APG in June 2002. From its original 13 founding members, APG now consists of 41 active members making it the largest Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body in the world.
In addition, 10 members — Australia, Canada, India, China, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States — of the APG are also members of the FATF.
The APG is an international organisation — regionally focused — consisting of 40 members and a number of international and regional observers including the UN, IMF, FATF, Asian Development Bank and World Bank.
It is closely affiliated with the Financial Action Task Force, whose secretariat is located at the OECD headquarters in Paris. All APG members commit to effectively implement FATF’s international standards for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, referred to as the 40 plus nine recommendations. Part of the commitment includes implementing measures against terrorists listed by the UN in the UNSC 1267 Consolidated List.
The APG was officially established as a regional organisation in 1997 at the fourth Asia/Pacific Money Laundering Symposium in Bangkok. It ensures that mechanisms are in place for international cooperation, given the international dimension to money laundering and terrorist financing.