Nepal-Taiwan MoU in eye of storm
Added At: 2011-05-09 12:07 AM
Last Updated At: 2011-05-09 12:07 AM
KATHMANDU: Finance Ministry officials had a tough time today as confusion prevailed over Nepal’s signing of Anti Money Laundering pact with Taiwan.
Sources claimed that China had protested Nepal’s signing of the pact with Taiwan, but the Finance Ministry and central bank officials played it down, saying Nepal has signed the pact taking into consideration its One-China Policy. “The signing of the pact was in accordance with diplomatic norms and Nepal’s foreign policy,” said a high-level source at the central bank.
However, Law Secretary Madhav Paudel told THT the MoU violated Nepal’s One-China policy. He hastened to add that it was a diplomatic issue. When contacted, Chinese embassy official Shan Yiduo said he had no idea about the rift caused by the MoU.
Nepal and Taiwan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to combat money laundering on March 28 in Taiwan. According to the MoU, they will share information about suspected money laundering and other cross-border financial crimes, including terrorism funding.
“Nepal has not given Taiwan a separate country status,” the official said, adding that Nepal signed the pact without harming Nepal-China relation.
Nepal and Taiwan are members of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering. They began discussions last year on the MoU during an annual APG conference in Singapore.
Head of the Financial Information Unit of Nepal Rastra Bank, Dharma Raj Sapkota, and director-general of Investigation Bureau under Ministry of Justice of Taiwan, Chang Chi-ping, had signed the MoU.
As Taiwan was designated to help Nepal meet the requirements to join the Egmont Group to counter money laundering, Taiwan has sponsored a training programme for central bank officials of financial intelligence department on how to craft a legal framework for documentation of financial dealings and prevention of money laundering.
Egmont Group membership will qualify Nepal to exchange information — relating to money laundering and terrorism financing — with and among the FIUs around the world. Nepal had applied for Egmont Group membership in January 2010.
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units provides a forum to improve cooperation in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism and supports the implementation of domestic Anti Money Laundering regimes.