Myanmar downplays blacklisting by money laundering watchdog

Oct 23, 2022, 2:18 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2022, 2:20 am

FILE - A man shows currency notes imprinted with portrait of Gen. Aung San, late father of Myanmar ...

FILE - A man shows currency notes imprinted with portrait of Gen. Aung San, late father of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, outside Myanmar Economic Bank on Jan. 7, 2020, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar’s central bank has promised improvements and warned against currency manipulation after an international watchdog put the military-controlled country on a terrorism and financial crimes blacklist. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw, File)

(AP Photo/Thein Zaw, File)

BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s central bank has promised improvements and warned against currency manipulation after an international watchdog put the military-controlled country on a terrorism and financial crimes blacklist.

The Financial Action Task Force recommended that Myanmar be included among countries requiring stronger due diligence, citing deficiencies in its enforcement of precautions against money laundering and other financial crimes.

That jolted Myanmar’s informal currency exchanges, where the dollar’s value against the Myanmar kyat jumped to between 4,000-5,000 kyats from 2,900 kyats before falling back to about 3,000 kyats. The official exchange rate was 2,100 kyats per dollar on Friday.

The FATF removed Myanmar from its blacklist in 2016 as its economy opened up during a brief-lived time of transition toward a civilian, democratic government. But army leaders took control in February 2021. Most of the progress made toward better enforcement of anti-money laundering rules had taken place under the elected government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Among its findings, the FATF’s review found inadequate precautions to prevent criminals from running casinos and other non-financial businesses and professions designated for special precautions, such as property agents and gems dealers, lawyers and accountants.

It also cited weak supervision of money changers and non-bank financial institutions and mobile financial services providers, whose importance has grown after the army’s seizure of power left many banks barely functioning for a time. But it welcomed progress in addressing the problems.

In its statement, the central bank said Myanmar has an “action plan” for addressing the FATF’s review. It also noted that it was not designated for countermeasures like Iran and North Korea, which are also on the blacklist.

Myanmar had increased its compliance to 24 out of 40 recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force, it said. It said the draft action plan would be implemented in the coming year.

More stringent due diligence precautions for money transfers won’t prevent banks from conducting business, it said.

“Despite the high-risk jurisdictions being subject to a call for action, it is not a risk factor for Myanmar so people need not worry about it,” it said.

It said actions would be taken against currency manipulation and other such “doings that do not comply with the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Myanmar.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


tupac shakur...

Rio Yamat and Ken Ritter

Man tied to suspected shooter in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 killing arrested

Tupac Shakur was gunned down when he was 25. He was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight.

22 hours ago

Former NFL football player Michael Oher, whose story became the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated...

Associated Press

Judge to end conservatorship between ex-NFL player Michael Oher, Tenn. couple

A Tennessee judge said Friday she is ending a conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple who took him in when he was in high school.

24 hours ago

BRAZIL - 2023/09/26: In this photo illustration, the Microsoft Bing logo is displayed on a laptop s...

Associated Press

Apple leverages idea of switching to Bing to pry more money out of Google, Microsoft exec says

Apple was never serious about replacing Google with Microsoft’s Bing as the default search engine in Macs and iPhones, but kept the possibility open as a "bargaining chip'' to extract bigger payments from Google

1 day ago

climate change...

Associated Press

2 lawsuits blame utility for eastern Washington fire that killed man and burned hundreds of homes

Two lawsuits have been filed against an electric utility for allegedly sparking a fire in eastern Washington that killed a man and burned approximately 240 homes.

2 days ago

Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

3 days ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Myanmar downplays blacklisting by money laundering watchdog