What is money laundering?
Money laundering refers to the process of reintroducing the proceeds of criminal offenses (which include, among others, organized crime activities, abuse of corporate assets, or tax fraud) into the legal economy. It follows three stages: first, the injection of criminal proceeds in the form of cash into the economic and financial system ("placement"); then, the conversion, movement, and dispersion of funds in order to disguise their illegal origin ("layering"); and finally, the reintroduction of funds into legitimate economic activities ("integration").
The fight against money laundering serves a dual purpose: on the one hand, to prevent criminal activities by depriving them of funds, and on the other hand, to ensure the soundness, integrity, and stability of the economic and financial system.
What are the applicable legal texts in Vietnam and Myanmar?
Both Vietnam and Myanmar are parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000, which includes the United Nations Convention against Money Laundering adopted in 1988. This convention aims to prevent and combat money laundering on an international scale by strengthening cooperation between states and implementing measures to prevent, detect and repress money laundering.
Furthermore, Vietnam and Myanmar are both members of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which is an intergovernmental organization responsible for developing policies and standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF also assesses countries’ anti-money laundering efforts and publishes lists of countries with high risks in this regard.
Finally, both countries have also adopted national anti-money laundering laws. In Vietnam, the main law is the Anti-Money Laundering Law of 2022, which was enforced in 2023. In Myanmar, the main law is the Anti-Money Laundering Law of 2014, which provides preventive, detection, and repressive measures against money laundering, as well as penalties for suspected offenders.