To cope with commercial crimes in Hong Kong, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) recently published proposed revisions to the existing Guidance Note on Money Laundering for public consultation.
The objectives of the revisions can be summarized as follows:
- to extend the guidance to all associated entities, except those authorized financial institutions;
- to rationalize the guidance with the Securities and Futures Ordinance which is targeted to commence on April 1 2003;
- to update the guidance with the newly enacted anti-terrorist financing law, which criminalizes the supply of funds or financial services to terrorists or their associates;
- to use the steps recommended by the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to identify suspicious transactions and detect terrorist financing.
The JFIU is jointly run by the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department to receive reports in relation to suspicious financial activities made under the provisions of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance.
The FATF, an inter-governmental body that aims to combat money laundering both at national and international levels, is reviewing its 40 anti-money laundering recommendations. As such, after completion of the review by FATF, the Guidance Note may be further revised to reflect new standards of control measures to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.