Wong Sio Chak to oversee Financial Intelligence Office

Wong Sio Chak

The government’s Financial Intelligence Office (GIF), an entity created back in 2006 in compliance with international standards of the legal framework against money laundering and terrorist financing, has now moved under the authority of the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, the Executive Council announced Friday. Until now, the GIF was under the authority of the Secretary for Economy and Finance.

The measure, with immediate effect, places the office under the Security Chief but maintains the exact same duties and competences, Wong said during a public event on Saturday.

In a statement issued by the Government Information Bureau, the Secretary explained there are currently two financial intelligence services models followed internationally: one in which the service is under the authority of the economic department, and another in which police services handle such matters.

Wong says that the reallocation of the GIF to the Secretariat of Security aims to “strengthen cooperation between the Office and the relevant authorities responsible for the law enforcement, to further strengthen the efficiency in preventing and combating financial crime.”

Restating that the Office will retain the same competencies and will remain unchanged in such matters, the Secretary added that the GIF will strictly follow all the international legal regimes and practices regarding work in this field. The Secretary also noted that the office had already previously been operating under international cooperation mechanisms and assured the continuation of this to maintain its independence, professionalism and collaboration with counterparts in other countries and regions.

The GIF is the government entity responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to the reporting of suspected money laundering or terrorist financing transactions. RM

‘Nobody is above the law’ on Au Kam San case

QUESTIONED AS to whether a defamation case was being prepared by the Judiciary Police (PJ) against lawmaker Au Kam San, for comments Au made to a local newspaper where he claimed the police unlawfully wiretapped a citizen, the Secretary responded: “At the moment, it is not appropriate to comment on the case. The PJ is analyzing the situation.” Wong noted that he believes that relevant information “will soon be released.” “The important thing is to explain that Macau is a region that follows the rule of law and all citizens are equal before the law,” Secretary Wong noted. “Any person has the right to resort to the law, it is a fundamental principle and a core value of Macau,” he added.

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