This year, Thailand progressed by an impressive five positions on a global scale. In this unique ranking, a lower score represents superior management of noteworthy challenges such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
Among the ASEAN countries, Singapore emerged victorious with a commendable score of 4.30, landing it at the 118th spot in the world ranking. On the other end of the spectrum, Myanmar had a disheartening score of 8.13, the worst among ASEAN countries, closely followed by Laos at 7.44, Vietnam at 6.96, and Cambodia at 6.78.
A total of 18 considered indicators spanned across five domains that account for the overall score. These indicators illuminate the situation regarding money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) in various countries.
This year’s analysis pointed to an escalating concern. It indicated that ML/TF risks are reaching an alarming level around the globe. Governments are finding it tough to adequately enforce financial sanctions on these detrimental practices, whether it’s the obstacle of identifying corporate owners or the uphill battle of outwitting those who enable money laundering and evade sanctions.
The survey stresses, “The pressing and growing implications of these risks are already manifesting, and they deeply affect individuals – ranging from virtually fuelling terror attacks through illegal funds to the disturbing outpour of trillions of dollars from countries due to corruption and organized criminal activities.”
The study inferred a concerning surge in risks in four out of the five measured domains. These include corruption and bribery, financial transparency and standards, public transparency and accountability, and political/legal risks.
The report also underscored the surprising role that burgeoning technologies like cryptocurrency play in finance-related crimes. To effectively tackle these, the report posited that countries must double down on regulation, supervision, and stern enforcement against clearly identified threats.
The report pointedly emphasised, “Indeed, taking such robust actions is the sole reliable approach to cultivate a burgeoning FinTech industry. Meanwhile, these measures also ensure the preservation of financial integrity and safeguarding the interests of crypto users and investors alike.