Financial Intelligence Network launched to combat financial crimes

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Financial Intelligence Network (MyFINet), a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative aimed at countering financial crimes via intelligence sharing, was launched today at the 11th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing.

MyFINet will see participation between the Royal Malaysia Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Royal Malaysian Customs, Securities Commission Malaysia as well as 18 other reporting institutions.

Delivering a special address, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said economic reforms cannot usher in Malaysia Baru or New Malaysia unless they are accompanied by institutional and governance reforms.

“This PPP is a collaboration and cooperative initiative between Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission, law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to better combat financial crimes.

“PPPs promote synergy in anti-money laundering or countering the financing of terrorism measures.

“This is achieved through effective, timely and seamless sharing of financial intelligence from financial institutions for the purpose of crime prevention and enforcement,” he said.

Meanwhile, in her speech, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Yunus noted that fighting financial crime requires a three-pronged approach. These are: collaboration, reviewing reporting standards and strengthening defences.

In response to these needs, Nor Shamsiah said MyFINet was a formalisation of the various arrangements that are already in place to enable smooth information flows between the financial sector and the law enforcement community.

“These PPPs are vital as they allow the financial intelligence unit, law enforcement agencies and reporting institutions to leverage on intelligence-led collaboration and information sharing to detect financial crime and terrorism financing. This will further support investigation and prosecution processes.”

In terms of reporting standards, she said that the central bank is in the process of reviewing its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism policies.

“A key outcome of this review is the move of our regulatory framework towards being more “risk-based” and “principles-based”.

“We believe that the industry is ready to build and expand its capacity in this area. While we are moving to being more risk-based, there is still a lot more to be done. This includes educating everyone in the industry that “risk-based” does not mean total risk aversion,” she said.

Nor Shamsiah added that the National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering would be seeking public opinion on the potential implementation of a cash transaction limit to complement the existing financial integrity measures.