Po­lice and Tat­madaw tar­get­ing money laun­der­ing, ter­ror­ism: min­is­ter

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

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

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