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Korean FIU To Tighten Regulation Of Financial Institutions

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com

19 December 2001


The Korean Ministry of Finance and Economy announced on Sunday that the newly launched Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) will be tightening the regulatory procedures surrounding foreign exchange transactions.

From next year, overseas branches of Korean financial institutions will be required to report foreign exchange transactions of over $10,000, and Korean currency transactions of over 50 million won to the FIU, which will investigate and pass details of suspected money laundering practices to the country's law enforcement agencies.

According to the Finance Ministry, the new rules will not apply to financial firms incorporated abroad by Korean institutions, as they are entirely supervised by the authorities in the country in which they are incorporated.

The Korean government has estimated that the amount of money laundered through the country's financial sector could be as much as 148 trillion won, and could account for between 11% and 33% of annual GDP. Tax evasion is also a problem, and it is believed that of that total, between 25 and 40 trillion won is siphoned out of the country through illegal channels.


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