A powerful law that places burden on the suspect
Akhbar Satar | 29 Jun 2018 00:30
Prior to the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLA) came into force on Jan 15, 2002, the only provisions relating to money laundering in Malaysian law are the Dangerous Drugs (Forfeiture of Property) Act 1988 and the Anti Corruption Act 1997.

Malaysia has made significant progress in constructing a comprehensive anti-money laundering regime. The introduction of the Anti-Money Laundering Act in 2001, which is now known as the the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti- Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA), serves to impose criminal sanctions upon any person involved in proceeds derived through illegal or illicit means. It also makes money laundering and terrorism financing a crime, and provides penalties for its commission, including hefty fines and imprisonment.

The Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) has investigated many cases involving government officials and government-linked companies (GLCs) which have violated the Act. In 2016, the MACC in the “Sabah Watergate” case made its biggest-ever seizure with the recovery of RM114 mil from the homes of Sabah Water Department director Awang Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib and his deputy Lim Lam Beng.

The money was reported to have been stashed in cupboards, drawers, and the boot of a car. Apart from cash, MACC investigators also uncovered 19kg of gold jewellery, 97 designer handbags, and 127 land titles for plots valued at RM30 mil. A further RM60 mil in bank accounts was frozen.

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