People who become rich in a short time will be investigated: FIU

People who become very wealthy in a short time will be investigated by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to find out if they are involved in secret businesses and what they are doing, a top official said during a seminar on fighting money laundering in Yangon on Saturday.

Police Colonel Kyaw Win Thein, deputy chief of FIU, said: “Myanmar has some people who have become rich in a short time. What kind of business do they do covertly? Our group (FIU) is formed to investigate this. We have plans to do this. We will also conduct a national risk assessment.

“Are they making money from heroin? Why are such and such ministers extremely rich? Is it true such a minister is rich because he comes from a rich family? Investigative measures will come.

“Another thing is corruption. Now we have formed some necessary groups in a legal way. We will enact by-laws after forming a central committee with the Home Affairs Minister as chairman. Now, we are starting our work. An internal working group has to be formed with officials from the Settlement and Land Records Department, Development Affairs Department, Customs Department, Attorney General’s Office. In September, we will meet with delegates of the International Monetary Fund for their expertise and advice.”

Myanmar passed an anti-money laundering law in March, but by-laws has yet to be enacted.

Asked if action would be taken over tip-offs about extremely rich government ministers, Kyaw Win Thein stressed the need for cooperation from every citizen, saying that such information could be sent but it needed to be correct.

“We provide security for anyone who gives a tip-off. Take a bank staff member as an example. He needs to keep it secret from the time he is a staff member to the time when he retires. The law also bans that. When we receive strong and correct information, we will launch an investigation first, then do an inspection. If the case is true, we will carry out the prosecution process for punishment.”

The official, however, said the Unit would not focus on individuals or organisations alone, but the whole nation.


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