KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) must continue to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the financial sector to coordinate efforts in combating corruption and financial scams.

In making the call, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said this would also create public awareness that is more effective and appropriate in view of the latest scam tactics.

According to him, besides ensuring more effective preventive measures by the financial institutions, the efforts would provide support to recover the embezzled funds as well as enable effective investigations by law enforcement agencies involved.

“Financial institutions are always exposed to fraud and money laundering which make them a safe place or as a conduit to hide, deal and ‘clean’ the money from illegal activities.

“The criminals are becoming more creative in finding the weaknesses to beat the Customer Due Diligence that has been implemented, and exploit various financial instruments for illegal activities through trade financing facilities, insurance, money transfers, and corrupt practices,” he said.

He said this in his opening speech during a luncheon meeting between MACC and the Malaysian financial institutions here, today.

With the latest technological advancement becoming more sophisticated in line with the current information system, Azam said the modus operandi of corruption perpetrators continues to widen and is more complex.

Today, he said acts of corruption and fraud could be hidden via various layers of record and documentation, while conversion of the illegal money could be carried out through new mediums such as virtual assets, underground traders, cross-border financial institutions, as well as offshore financial services.

“The role of financial institutions as the frontline in fighting corruption and fraud is important as financial fraud, bribes from corruption activities and money laundering are often reflected in the financial institutions,” he said.

He also opined that transactions, particularly those involving high-risk customers should be examined carefully in terms of the sources of funds obtained and where the funds are utilised.

“All registered banks are required to implement the highest safety standards, especially for Internet and mobile banking services, such as periodical security checks and advisory services in accordance with guidelines issued by BNM to the financial institutions,” he said.

Such advice, he said, included the need to improve existing control measures and ensure sufficient protection for the latest threats, while maintaining efficient services to the customers.

“For MACC, we have our own approach to detect and investigate corruption offences. However, continued cooperation with the financial institutions and other enforcement agencies is much needed.

“Cooperation in the form of sharing knowledge and information as well as proactive reports on suspicious financial activities is very important in the investigation process as red flags to detect the possibility of wrongdoing,” he said. — Bernama