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China to Intensify Efforts Against Money laundering

China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) is planning to launch a computer system to collect information about trading of foreign exchange in large sums or in doubt as part of its further efforts to fight against money laundering, SAFE Director Guo Shuqing said in Beijing Sunday.


The national foreign exchange watchdog will also work out detailed rules for better implementation of the measures concerning reports on trading of foreign exchange in large sums or in doubt, Guo told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the on-going annual session of the country's top advisory body.


Guo, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said an anti-laundering mechanism has been established in the field of foreign exchange administration, involving banks, the SAFE, public security and other law enforcement agencies since the system of reporting on trading of foreign exchange in large sums or in doubt was initiated last year.


Between March and October last year, the SAFE received information about 2.02 million foreign exchange deals in large sums or in doubt, involving a total of US$49 million, from designated foreign exchange banks across the country.


"The information helped us uncover and crack down on some 'underground money houses' and cases of illegal foreign exchange trading," said Guo, who is also deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.


The information also provided clues to major cases threatening the nation's financial security, he added.


In the first 11 months last year, 338 persons were detained on charges of engaging in the business of "underground money houses" and illegal foreign exchange trading, with US$1.07 million of fund seized, 666 bank accounts with a total of US$8.15 million frozen, and US$2.68 million in fines collected, said Guo, who pledged intensified efforts to crack down on illegal activities in foreign exchange this year.


(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2004)


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