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Case of Alleged Money Laundering, Even a Penny, Will be Reported

Case of Alleged Money Laundering, Even a Penny, Will be Reported

Posted February. 09, 2004 22:45,   


Plans to unconditionally report financial transactions suspected of money laundering, regardless of the amount, are being pushed forward.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said 10 lawmakers, including Kim Hyo-seuk of the Millennium Democratic Party, turned in a revised bill on the report and use of information on specified financial transactions on February 5, entirely removing the clause regarding the current 20 million won standard for reporting “suspected transactions,” to the National Assembly’s Finance & Economy Committee.

According to the revision, financial companies judging transactions to be made up of illegal funds or if they suspect money laundering schemes they must report even a penny’s worth to the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Lawmaker Kim’s associate explained, “The only countries which have fixed on a standard amount for suspected transactions are Korea and the US, and even so, the standard for the US is a mere 5,000 dollars (approximately 6 million won). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) advises us to remove the standard amount, and it is our belief that it will be better to remove it.”

This revision includes plans for reporting by financial companies to the FIU cash transactions over 20 million won which are under suspicion for money laundering.

FIU had announced recently that the plan to report cash transactions over 50 million won is being considered, and will start by the second half of next year, at the earliest.

Altogether, this revision is more intensified than FIU’s policy.

The revised bill will pass through the Finance & Economy Committee’s subcommittee to the regular meeting, but considering its late submission, there are high possibilities that it may not pass in the upcoming special session.

Ki-Jeong Ko koh@donga.com