APG History and Background
In 1995 an Asia-Pacific regional office called the "FATF-Asia Secretariat" was established and funded by government of Australia. In cooperation with other international bodies, that secretariat worked with countries in the Asia-Pacific to generate wide regional commitment to implement anti-money laundering policies and initiatives and secure agreement to establish a more permanent regional anti-money laundering body. Symposia were then held in Hong Kong, China in October 1995; in November 1996; and in Tokyo, Japan in December 1995. At the Fourth (and last) symposium in Bangkok, Thailand in February 1997, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) was officially established as an autonomous regional anti-money laundering body by unanimous agreement among 13 original founding members. A new secretariat was also established to serve as the focal point for APG activities to be located in Sydney, Australia.
The APG has grown considerably since 1997 and is part of a global network of similar bodies, referred to as Financial Action Task Force-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs) and is the largest in terms of membership numbers and geographical size. The APG also has a large number of observers (both jurisdictions and supporting organisations) that participate in its programmes and activities. Some of the key international organisations that support the APG include the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, OECD, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN's Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate, Asian Development Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, INTERPOL and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
On this page scroll down to "The International AML/CFT Standards" for a brief summary of what is contained in these standards.
The APG has five primary functions:
- Mutual evaluations: The APG assesses the levels of compliance by its member jurisdictions with the global AML/CFT standards through a mutual evaluation (peer review) programme;
- Technical assistance and training: The APG Secretariat coordinates bi-lateral and donor-agency technical assistance and training in the Asia/Pacific region for its member jurisdictions in order to improve compliance with the global standards;
- Typologies research: Research and analysis into money laundering and terrorist financing methods and trends is a key function of the APG to assist policy and law makers as well as law enforcement agencies and the general public to identify and respond to new and emerging trends, methods, risks and vulnerabilities;
- Global engagement: The APG contributes to international AML/CFT policy development and actively engages with the global network of FSRBs. The APG also participates in a number of FATF working groups and in its plenary meetings; and
- Private sector engagement: Private sector engagment is critical to the APG's overall objectives. The APG actively engages with financial and non-financial institutions, NPOs, training centres and universities in the Asia-Pacific to better inform the general public and specialists about global issues relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.
The APG also assists its members to establish national coordination mechanisms to better utilise resources to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The APG’s purpose, mission and goals are described in the core strategic and business planning documents of the APG:
- Terms of Reference;
- Strategic Plan; and
- Annual Business Plan.
This section briefly discusses the nature of money laundering and outlines the history of the APG and its relationship with the FATF.