The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established upon the agreement made at the G7 Summit meeting in 1989 to prevent money laundering committed through financial institutions. Korea joined the FATF as a full member in October 2009. The FATF currently comprises 37 member countries and 2 regional organizations (European Commission, Gulf Cooperation Council), pursuing to establish global AML standards and stronger international cooperation.
Recognized as an international standard in the AML/CFT area, the AML/CFT Recommendations enacted by the FATF have been adopted by 180 countries, and have binding force, de facto, through Mutual Evaluations on members of FATF and regional bodies. FATF-style regional bodies, such as APG, are encouraging countries to implement AML/CFT policy and are leading global policy coordination by carrying out regular-basis Mutual Evaluation on member countries.
After serving as Vice President for a year since July 2014, Korea took FATF presidency for another year since July 2015. The KoFIU organized and held the Plenary meeting in Busan from June 18 to 24, 2016. Korea underwent the 3rd and 4th round of Mutual Evaluation in 2008 and 2020 respectively.
|Europe·Middle East (21 countries, one organization)
|UK, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, European Commission
|America·Others (6 countries, one organization)
|US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Gulf Cooperation Council
|Asia·Pacific (10 countries)
|Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Turkiye, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (the Egmont Group) was found in June 1995 to promote international cooperation for information exchange and to support the establishment of Financial Intelligence Unit.
Starting with 13 member countries including the US, UK and Belgium, the Egmont Group has grown to a membership of 165 financial intelligence units. Major projects it has undertaken include encouragement of the establishment of FIU, facilitation of information exchange, promotion of education and training programs, workshops and people-to-people exchange, expansion of working-level groups, and development of appropriate forms of information exchange.
Korea’s full membership was approved at the June 2002 Monaco Plenary. Since then, Korea has been participating in annual Plenary meetings and the Head of FIU meetings every year, as well as Working Group meetings held every three years that discuss ways to enhance cooperation among FIUs.
In 2008, the KoFIU hosted the 16th Egmont Group Plenary and Working Group Meetings in Seoul for five days from May 25 to 29. It marked the first Egmont plenary held in Asia since the Egmont Group was launched as an official international organization in 2007. About 250 representatives from 90 FIUs around the world and 12 international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, attended the 2008 Egmont Group Plenary and discussed methods to reinforce international AML/CFT cooperation among FIUs across the world.
For a seamless exchange of information among FIUs, the Egmont Group has established principles for information exchange and has been operating Egmont Secure Web (“ESW”) which is an Internet security system. The KoFIU maintains close relationships with FIUs around the world, making a frequent use of the ESW system for an exchange of information relevant to AML duties.
The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) is a FATF-style regional body, established in March 1998 to facilitate cooperation between Asia-Pacific countries.
As of now, it is joined by 42 member jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region. Korea joined APG in October 1988 as a full member. APG carries out its activities under the mission of encouraging implementation of FATF international standards and promoting international cooperation, by conducting mutual evaluations based on FATF methodology and monitoring each members’ technical compliance and effectiveness.
Korea has been playing a leading role in the AML area in the Asia-Pacific region as Korea took the APG Co-Chair position from July 2002 to June 2004 and served as an APG governance committee member for 4 years from 2013. Also, Korea has been taking part in the Donor and Providers (DAP) Group of APG, a voluntary group that provides support to latecomer members. APG is run by two Co-Chairs, one, “Permanent Co-Chair” position held by Australia, and the other, “Rotating Co-Chair” position taken by APG members for a two year term. Following the APG customs of hosting the Annual Meeting in the Rotating Co-Chair’s home country, the KoFIU hosted and organized the 7th APG Annual Meeting from June 14 to 18, 2004, in Seoul. Furthermore, KoFIU hosted the APG Workshop on FATF International Standards Revision, inviting seven countries to Seoul, in December 2012 upon the APG Secretariat’s request. Since then, the workshop was extended and renewed to be held in Seoul consecutively from 2013 to 2018. APG conducted Mutual Evaluation on Korea in 2002, regarding AML system and implementation status.
In June 1998, with the proclamation of ‘Political Declaration and Action Plan Against Money Laundering’, the UN urged countries to implement the following by 2003.
1. Criminalize ML and Establish Legal Framework for Crime Prevention, Detection, Investigation, and Prosecution
2. Create Criminal Asset Confiscation and Conservation System
3. Reinforce Regulations to Prevent Financial System Being Abused at ML Offense
Since the above Declaration, a number of UN Convention are acknowledged as AML/CFT international standard, such as ‘UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’, ‘UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime’, and ‘UN Convention for Suppression of Terrorist Financing’, etc.
Notably, UNSC adopted a series of resolutions that carries major importance since 1997 regarding CFT, such as Resolution 1267, 1373, etc. These resolutions call upon nations to take measures such as criminalization of terrorist financing and asset freezing of terrorists or those involved in terrorist activity.