CBM intensifies crackdown on illegal Hundi businesses

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The photo depicts Yangon branch of Central Bank of Myanmar.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has been clamping down on the illegitimate Hundi business, an informal money transfer system.
The CBM has been joining hands with the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing task force comprising officials from the Department of General Administration, Bureau of Special Investigation, and Myanmar Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate Hundi brokers, conduct awareness campaigns of informal money transfer system and prosecution, provide anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing courses and disseminate information about applying for inward and outward remittance licence.
The CBM has been forwarding investigation reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the law enforcement authorities to take action against the Hundi operators.
Similarly, the CBM worked with the Ministry of Home Affairs and law enforcement agencies under the guidance of the Monitoring and Steering Committee on the Gold and Currency Market and conducted interrogation and prosecution against those disputable Hundi brokers using banking transactions.
Following the CBM’s investigation and legal proceedings against 99 alleged money transfer operators, the Myanmar Police Force has taken action against 20 individuals. Also, 20 more Hundi brokers face lawsuits at the respective township courts, and the course of action continues.
Those individuals include nine Hundi brokers involved in illegal inward money transfers of Myanmar workers in Thailand, China, and Malaysia, three individuals making illegitimate money transactions for goods purchase, and eight illicit foreign exchangers. They are to face sentences and fines under the existing laws.
To eliminate Hundi brokers, the CBM teamed up with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Special Investigation, and Myanmar Financial Intelligence Unit to carry out further investigation and prosecution against the Hundi businesses and ensure law enforcement by working closely with the authorities concerned. The CBM has issued remittance licences for 14 companies as of 19 December 2023 after doing some procedures to curb and reduce illegal Hundi businesses.
Additionally, those aforementioned institutions cooperated to offer anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing courses under the existing laws. Furthermore, they often meet those holding remittance licences to realize work processes, challenges and actual situations on the ground and coordinate matters. They also bridge connections between the licence holders and overseas recruitment agencies. — NN/EM

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