KUALA LUMPUR, (June 25) — Bank Negara has issued 447 licences for money-changing companies nationwide until April 30 this year, the Dewan Negara was told today.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the licensees consist of entities that meet strict criteria and conditions prescribed by Bank Negara through the Money Services Business Act 2011.
“All money-changing licensees must abide by the laws imposed by the Act for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism,” he said in reply to a question by senator Chew Lian Keng.
“Any licensee found to breach the conditions will be dealt with by immediate revocation of the licence, fined not more than RM5 million and imprisonment of not more than 10 years,” he said.
So far, no licensee has been involved in money laundering, but action has been taken against 17 companies found not complying with the requirement to keep records as subjected under the the Money Services Business Act 2011.
To another question by Chew about the licence being abused by foreign nationals to carry out money laundering, Ahmad said Bank Negara had reduced the number of licensees through strict conditions.
“Previously, there were 836 licensees but now it has been reduced to only 447 qualified money-changing companies. These companies have no criminal records, have never been in bankruptcy status and have the knowledge to carry out money changing services,” he said.– BERNAMA