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MAS sets up dedicated anti-money laundering and enforcement departments

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THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday that it would set up dedicated departments to combat money laundering and strengthen enforcement, respectively.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday that it would set up dedicated departments to combat money laundering and strengthen enforcement, respectively.

These changes will come into effect on Aug 1, 2016.

The anti-money laundering (AML) department will "streamline the existing responsibilities for regulatory policies relating to money laundering and other illicit financing risks," the MAS said.

In addition, a dedicated supervisory team will be set up to monitor these risks and carry out onsite supervision of how financial institutions manage them.

These functions used to be carried out by different departments in the MAS.

MAS's new enforcement department will be responsible for enforcement actions coming from regulatory breaches of the regulator's banking, insurance and capital markets regulations.

The enforcement department will continue to jointly investigate capital markets misconduct offences with the Commercial Affairs Department.

"As our financial centre grows in scale, sophistication, and connectivity, so does the risk of criminal elements abusing our financial system. We will strengthen our supervision of financial institutions' controls to combat money laundering and illicit financing," said Ravi Menon, managing director of the MAS.

"And we will enhance our enforcement capability to deter poor controls or criminal behaviour in the industry. MAS is resolved to ensure that Singapore remains a clean and trusted financial centre."