In 2001, Burma was
designated Non-Cooperative Country or Territory (NCCT) by the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF), indicating major deficiencies in a country’s
anti-money laundering regime, and cautioning financial institutions
to pay special attention to their business relations and transactions.
In November 2004, the FATF removed
extra measures against the regime as a result of ‘improvements’
in the SPDC’s money laundering standards. This action overlooked
flaws in the SPDC’s anti-money laundering mechanisms, as well
as failings in newly enacted laws.
Despite the regime’s recent
showcase closing of two banks, the SPDC has not taken significant
action against money laundering. Closing the banks was merely an
attempt to convince the international community that the SPDC is
“tough on money laundering” in the lead up to the next
meeting of the FATF in June.
The SPDC’s approach to money
laundering remains sub-par and a threat to regional economies and
global efforts to combat money laundering.