National Financial Crime Centre to tackle money laundering, says Abu Kassim

Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull and general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed attend a press briefing for the Report on the Year-End Achievement in the War Against Corruption in Malaysia for June-December 2018 in Putrajaya December 21, 2018. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull and general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed attend a press briefing for the Report on the Year-End Achievement in the War Against Corruption in Malaysia for June-December 2018 in Putrajaya December 21, 2018. — Bernama pic

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 21 — The government has agreed to set up the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC) in an effort to tackle money laundering activities.

The National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the matter was decided at a recent cabinet committee meeting on anti-corruption.

He said the government viewed seriously the illegal outflow of cash from the country, estimated to reach billions of ringgit each year.

“This issue needs to be addressed seriously and the government wants the initiative involving various agencies to be implemented immediately.

“We hope the NFCC will operate as soon as possible after the necessary laws have been enacted,” he said during a press conference held in conjunction with the Report on the Year End Achievement in the War Against Corruption in Malaysia for the months of June-December 2018 here today. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner of the Prevention of Corruption Commission Malaysia (MACC) Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull was also present.

Abu Kassim said to ensure the successful establishment of the NFCC, the government had agreed to create a special team led by a senior government official for planning purposes.

Expecting the centre to be operational by the middle of next year, he said its establishment involved the coordination of the MACC, Customs Department, Immigration Department and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), and the first meeting was held today.

Meanwhile, Mohd Shukri said the MACC would propose the use of a new law on beneficial ownership to curb the problem of major contractors not implementing the projects themselves.

Based on past cases, many of the projects obtained by the main contractor are not carried out by themselves but is instead given to sub-contractors, and the sub-contractors, in turn, hand it over to another party, creating several layers of project implementers.

“This has resulted in the poor quality of projects which eventually affects many parties, especially buyers or recipients,” he said, adding that for the onset, the law would only focus on government projects. — Bernama