Police and Tatmadaw targeting money laundering, terrorism: minister
MYANMAR’S police and the Tatmadaw are collaborating to curb money laundering, which they see as a potential source of funding for terrorists, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Major General Aung Soe said at a Pyithu Hluttaw session last week.
The Financial Intelligence Unit, Myanmar’s state anti-money laundering body, is working to fight money laundering and target anyone who might be funding terrorism, he told parliament on October 6.
“To cut off the financing and funding to terrorist groups and those who contact terrorist groups, we are scrutinising banks and financial institutions by issuing a prohibiting order,” he said.
All relevant information is shared with neighbouring countries including ASEAN member states, Maj Gen Aung Soe said, adding that authorities are compiling a blacklist for terrorists as well as a watch list for suspected terrorists and their financiers.
A border liaison office with Bangladesh is in the works, he said, and closed circuit television cameras are being installed at airports and throughout Yangon.
Security agencies are also sending nearly 400 personnel to 29 antiterrorism trainings run by foreign countries, Maj Gen Aung Soe said, adding that anti-terror drills being conducted by the government included scenarios ranging from potential hostage situations to bombings and chemical weapons attacks.
The agencies are sharing intelligence information with one another and collecting leads through the internet and news outlets, he told parliament.
To review terrorist threats in real time, in 2014 the National Crisis Emergency Management Center in Nay Pyi Taw connected its online system to state and regional departments with K10 million (US$8000) worth of installed technology.
The Union minister’s assurances last week came about two months after State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s name reportedly appeared on a hit list in Malaysia ostensibly written by a member or sympathiser of the Islamic State.
In June, Myanmar was removed from a different list, kept by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), of countries considered weak in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. – Translation by Khine Thazin
Han and Thiri Min Htun