Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Singapore issues Environmental Crimes Money Laundering National Risk Assessment

5 min read

Singapore published today an Environmental Crimes Money Laundering (ML) National Risk Assessment (NRA), which identifies the key threats and vulnerabilities in environmental crimes ML that Singapore is exposed to.

This outlines mitigation measures that government agencies, financial institutions (FIs), and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) can develop to address the risks.

Environmental crimes and the laundering of their proceeds endanger the environment and have a far-reaching impact. Each year, environmental crimes such as illegal wildlife trafficking and illegal logging are estimated to generate around $110 billion to $281 billion in criminal gains globally. Singapore’s exposure to environmental crimes ML stems from its position as an international financial centre, and a trading and transit hub, with a highly externally-oriented economy.

The Environmental Crimes ML NRA assessed that:

a) Singapore is susceptible to ML threats that emanate from illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and waste trafficking, which are prevalent in Southeast Asia.

b) In comparison to other sectors in Singapore, banks and cross-border payment service providers are most vulnerable to being misused to launder proceeds from environmental crimes, given their transnational nature.

c) Singapore has a strong and transparent legal and enforcement framework to detect ML, and pursue ML investigations, prosecution, asset recovery and international cooperation, in relation to environmental crimes.

d) Given the level of exposure and extent of controls, there is a medium-low risk of criminals using Singapore for environmental crimes ML.

Singapore’s law enforcement agencies and supervisory agencies will continue to stay vigilant and take appropriate measures to mitigate the risks identified in this Environmental Crimes ML NRA.

FIs and DNFBPs should also take reference from this Environmental Crimes ML NRA in assessing their risks and enhance their controls as appropriate.

 Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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