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MACC says fighting corruption requires cross-border coordination, citing 1MDB case

PUTRAJAYA (Oct 21): As corruption gets complicated and transnational, fighting corruption and money laundering cannot be achieved solely by any single institution or economy but requires working together to advance greater collaboration and cross-border coordination.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, in his keynote address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) held virtually today, cited the example of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case.

He said efforts to recover 1MDB assets started in 2019 and the US and Singapore had assisted Malaysia in recovering more than US$3.5 billion in assets so far.

"Efforts to recover the rest of the assets are still ongoing with the assistance of other economies, including the US and Singapore," he added.

Azam said Malaysia had pledged its commitment and adhered to the principles of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and, as a party, collaborated towards its implementation.

The Malaysian enforcement authorities cooperated through different mechanisms and networks, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Asia-Pacific Group on Money-Laundering (APG), Interpol, ASEANAPOL and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, he said.

Azam said Malaysia, through the MACC, had also actively participated in the Economic Crime Agency Network (ECAN), a formal network of law enforcement agencies from various economies, including some from APEC members, which were involved primarily in investigating and combating economic crime, including fraud, bribery and corruption.

He said the MACC was also actively involved in the South East Asia Parties Against Corruption and Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Forum.

“Malaysia has a strong legal and regulatory framework for asset recovery and demonstrates effective inter-agency coordination leading to international cooperation on asset recovery.

“Malaysia also has bilateral treaties or agreements with a number of economies to facilitate the enforcement of recovery, forfeiture or confiscation orders, and may provide mutual legal assistance (MLA) to economies which it has no treaties or agreements just yet,” he added.

Malaysia will be hosting the ECAN next year.

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