Research published by Transparency International New Zealand investigates corruption and money laundering within Pacific Island Countries (PICs). It highlights the linkage between the two concluding that preventive and investigative systems are insufficient and not operating effectively.
The research, undertaken by Professor John Hopkins and Chat le Nguyen from Canterbury University analyses the primary AML (Anti Money Laundering) measure relevant and applicable to anti-corruption. It examines the capacity and practice of implementing these standards in the Pacific, with detailed analysts of and case studies from seven selected Pacific Island Countries (PICs).
“The report leaves no doubt that Pacific Island Countries do not pay sufficient attention to the link between corruption and money laundering and lack specific policies and resources to employ AML measures as anti-corruption tools” says Julie Haggie, CEO of Transparency International New Zealand.
The report finds that most PICs have a sound AML legal framework for combating corruption and confiscating its proceeds. However corruption and money-laundering remain an issue because:
- of the countries’ limited willingness and/or ability to combat corruption through available AML tools
- the countries studied do not pay sufficient attention to the link between corruption and money laundering.
- they lack specific policies to employ AML measures as anti-corruption tools
- they are not equipped with sufficient resources and expertise to address corruption-related money laundering
The report calls for :
- Better due diligence by Financial Institutions including better access to information about who owns companies operating within their financial system. Better due diligence measures tend to deter corruption proceeds from being laundered.
- Strengthening of legal frameworks around the confiscation of criminal proceeds, thus reducing the incentive for engaging in corrupt activities.
- More adequate staffing, resourcing and training of Financial Intelligence Units in Pacific countries
- Greater collaboration and commitment between key players in the financial system of each country.
- Better cross-border cooperation including regional initiatives and the use of regional inter-agency networks such as the Asset Recovery Interagency Network.