New law allows probing of money crimes

Business

THE Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (Fasu) has a role to investigate and identify threats of money laundering activities in financial institutions in the country, director Benny Popoitai says.
He said the new anti-money laundering legislation and proceeds of the Crime Act allowed them to investigate banks and financial institutions.
“Fasu has no ability to prosecute cases involving anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing activities,” Popoitai said.
According to a mutual evaluation report produced by the World Bank as part of the financial sector assessment programme, PNG faced serious risks of money-laundering in many criminal activities including domestic corruption (misappropriation of public funds).
Popoitai said under the new legislation and the Proceeds and Crime Act, “we do the investigations on all of the banks and financial institutions and centres that submit reports to us”.
He said they identify suspicious matters in the reports and investigate them.
“If we see that it is worth pursuing, we refer it to police who then identify evidence and further refer it to the public prosecutor to deal with them in court,” Popoitai said.
“The financial unit was looked after by police until 2015 when legislation was passed to separate intelligence from investigation. The unit was transferred to Bank of Papua New Guinea. We can only investigate financial matters. And if we think there’s a money laundering case, we refer it to police.”

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