Banks, Payment Providers at High Risk for Environmental Crimes Money Laundering

Banks, Payment Providers at High Risk for Environmental Crimes Money Laundering

by May 30, 2024

Singapore has released an Environmental Crimes Money Laundering National Risk Assessment (NRA), highlighting the primary threats and vulnerabilities associated with it.

This report outlines mitigation measures for government agencies, financial institutions, and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) to address these risks.

Environmental crimes, such as illegal wildlife trafficking and illegal logging, generate an estimated US$110 billion to US$281 billion in criminal gains annually.

Singapore’s role as an international financial centre and a major trading and transit hub makes it particularly vulnerable to these crimes.

The NRA identifies that Singapore is susceptible to money laundering threats from illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and waste trafficking, prevalent in Southeast Asia.

Banks and cross-border payment service providers are especially at risk of being exploited for laundering proceeds from these crimes due to their transnational operations.

Despite these threats, Singapore has a robust and transparent legal and enforcement framework to detect and investigate money laundering activities, pursue prosecutions, recover assets, and cooperate internationally on environmental crime issues.

The NRA concludes that, given the existing controls, the risk of criminals using Singapore for environmental crimes money laundering is medium-low.

Singapore’s law enforcement and supervisory agencies will remain vigilant and implement appropriate measures to mitigate these risks.

Financial institutions and DNFBPs are advised to use the findings to assess and enhance their own risk controls.

 

Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik