NA members debates anti-money laundering law

Published on July 23, 2014

Intro: Debates on a new law to combat money laundering and money supply for terrorism were the topic of the day at the National Assembly’s or NA ongoing session on Monday the 21st of July. The Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Somphao Phaysith said, we could be taken advantage of as a transit place for money laundering and money supply for terrorism.

Story: The main discussion focused on language use and errors in various items of legislation, with the fear of misuse of language leading to loopholes in the law enforcement process.

NA member for Vientiane Dr Duangsavat Souphanouvong said the law included measures in relation to combating money laundering and money supply for terrorism but it lacked detailed approaches in dealing with the issue.

NA member for Luang Prabang province Police Brigadier General Vilay Duangmany not only contributed his opinions to ensure the law is comprehensive but also emphasised the significance of the law as Laos is being integrated with the region and the world.

Brigadier General Vilay said, We are now a member of the World Trade Organisation and will soon be part of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, adding that, so I think we need this law in order to join international efforts to combat money laundering and money supply for terrorism,”

The law was presented by the Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Somphao Phaysith who highlighted the significance of the law before allowing NA members to debate on how to make it more comprehensive. Somphao said combating money laundering and money supply for terrorism is an internationally complex issue which requires cooperation from all nations. However this issue is still new in Laos.

According to him, as our country is focusing on socio-economic development and being integrated with the region, we could be taken advantage of as a transit place for money laundering and money supply for terrorism,” he said, adding that the enactment of this law was part of measures put in place to prevent the issue.

Somphao Phaysith said the enactment of the law meant that Laos had fulfilled its international obligations in relation to this issue. He said, if Laos does not enact this law within 2015, Laos could be placed on an international communities’ black list, which would impact national development and foreign assistance towards our country,”.

The Bank of the Lao PDR has begun drafting this law since 2011 by setting up a steering committee in charge of the process.

The draft law has been discussed at a number of meetings to gain input from relevant sectors and experts in the field in order to ensure the law is an accurate reflection of the nation’s reality.

The law drafting sub-committee also studied the law related to combating money laundering and money supply for terrorism in neighbouring countries including Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
The draft law comprises seven parts and 72 articles.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on 22/07/2014