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APG nations vow to fight against terror financing

July 22, 2011 15:11 IST

Taj Hotel, MumbaiOver 40 countries from the Asia Pacific region on Friday resolved to work together to strengthen regional and global efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The 14th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering and Annual Technical Assistance Forum concluded in Kochi on Friday with a resolve to strengthen efforts in this direction.

The five-day event was attended by more than 320 participants from 41 member countries, besides 27 observer jurisdictions and organisations.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had delivered the opening address during the meet, which also decided to admit Bhutan as the 41st member country.

The United Nations was also admitted as an observer in the APG. "Delegates adopted six mutual evaluation reports -- Afghanistan, Lao PDR, Marshall Islands, Maldives, Nepal, and Papua New Guinea; and examined the mutual evaluation progress reports of 30 members," an official release said.

The meeting also reviewed the Financial Action Task Force's international anti-money laundering and combating of the financing of terrorism standards.

Delegates also discussed on tangible responses to financial inclusion challenges, corruption and money laundering. Speaking at the concluding ceremony, APG Co-Chair K Jose

Cyriac said the participants have united to strengthen regional and global efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing.

He said that the annual meeting provided a platform for delegates to further cement international cooperation ties and discuss important regional and international initiatives. This includes approaches to improving mutual legal assistance and enhancing financial intelligence information sharing on illicit funds.

"Deliberations at the meeting were very fruitful and ended with reiteration by all members and observers of their commitment to deter the money laundering and terrorist financing," Cyriac said.

The Kochi meet assumes significance at a time when India has taken a strong position in the fight against black money.

India took over as co-chair in the FATF in February this year.

The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering is an international organisation with representation from around 40 countries.

It is presently co-chaired by India and Australia. Supported by multilateral bodies like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and FATF, it conducts research into money laundering and terrorist financing.

It also assesses the compliance of countries to international standards on anti-money laundering and assists in global policy development on such issues..

Image: Taj Hotel, Mumbai, under terrorist attack.

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