KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The 2020 National Risk Assessment (NRA) report has identified five types of major crimes that contribute to the high threat of money laundering activities in Malaysia.

The five are fraud, including fraud in an illegal investment scheme; trafficking of illicit drugs; corruption and smuggling offences; customs and excise duty evasion; and organised crime.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya said the status of the five major crimes was marked as high risk and expected to remain unchanged for the next three years.

He said the NRA 2020 report involves quantitative and qualitative data sources that combine statistics from various agencies, internal and external reports and surveys conducted by law enforcement agencies, reporting institutions and international stakeholders.

“Another matter that needs attention is the possible increase in the use of technology and the transition of criminal activities to online platforms.

“We expect a continuous increase in the use of virtual assets among criminals and terrorists to launder the proceeds of their illegal activities, especially due to the difficulty in tracking related funds and identifying the beneficiaries involved,” he said at the “Examining The Link Between Corruption and Top 5 High-Risk Crimes Identified In The National Risk Assessment” dialogue here today.

Ahmad Khusairi said virtual assets including cryptocurrencies are seen to be gaining traction and being exploited by black market traders and terrorist organisations.

“Based on the NRA 2020 report, we can also see an increase in technology that has been exploited to facilitate fraud, extortion and falsification of public and private sector documentation.

“We expect this to continue to increase in the coming years. To prevent and combat this factor more effectively, we must all be skilled and efficient in the ins and outs of using technology,” he said.

He said technology is a powerful element in the fight against corruption and money laundering.

Ahmad Khusairi added that the NRA 2020 report has also identified company secretaries, law firms, and distributors of precious metals and stones as among the sectors exposed to money laundering activities.

In this regard, he said, compliance officers from these sectors should be more sensitive and alert to the risk of their business being misused for money laundering activities. — Bernama