An analysis of the Malaysian anti-money laundering laws and their impact on banking institutions

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis



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Money laundering has been described by many as the lifeblood of crime and is a major threat to the economic and social well-being of societies. In recent years a number of countries have implemented laws to fight against money laundering and Malaysia is no exception. The Malaysian Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA) was passed in 2001 and came into force in January 2002. It was amended in 2003 to include measures to combat against terrorism financing. Following the amendment, AMLA was renamed Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA). AMLATFA not only criminalizes money laundering and terrorism financing, but also imposes various obligations on reporting institutions. It includes measures for the investigation of money laundering and terrorism financing offences and the freezing, seizure and forfeiture of criminal proceeds. Banks as the main reporting entities have borne the brunt of the measures introduced by AMLATFA. Despites its introduction in 2002, little academic research has been carried out on how the legislation impacts on banks in Malaysia. This study attempts to address that need. It will analyse how the relevant provisions of AMLATFA affect banks, their operations and relationships with outsiders, such as customers and other stakeholders. This study is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter gives an overview of money laundering. The second chapter looks at various international initiatives to combat money laundering. Chapter three examines the anti-money laundering laws of Malaysia with much of the emphasis on the relevant provisions of AMLATFA. Chapter four examines how the law impacts on the operations of banks. Chapters five focuses on the anti-money laundering measures in the Malaysian offshore financial centre. Chapter six looks at how the law impacts on the banks’ relationship with outsiders. Chapter seven provides a survey of Australian anti-money laundering laws as a basis for comparison. ii This study
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2008

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