Suspected money laundering on the rise
Macau authorities registered 910 cases of transactions between parties suspected of money laundering, as well as of financing terrorism, up to June this year.
This figure represents a year-on-year raise of 3.8% compared to 2014, according to data from the Financial Intelligence Office (GIF). Lusa reported that a total of 60 cases were sent to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) for investigation.
The gaming industry is the sector responsible for the most cases (682 or 74.9% of the total), followed by the financial sector, banking and insurance companies (219 or 24.1%).
This figure has been rising since 2007, having peaked in 2012 when 1,840 cases were registered. The number dipped in 2013, only to rise again with a total of 1,812 cases.
Sectors such as the casino industry are required to report to the authorities any transaction equal to or more than MOP500,000.
In order to effectively enforce the law on this matter, the US Department of State has proposed that the above amount be increased to USD3,000 in order to comply with international standards.
The local government already stated in the 2016 Policy Address that it has plans to review the Law for Prevention and Suppression of the Crime of Money Laundering, which has been in force since April 2006. However, no proposals related to the lowering of this “ceiling” have been brought forth.