The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (also known as the APG or APGML) is the FATF-style regional body for the Asia/Pacific region. It is an autonomous international organisation founded in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand. The APG consists of 40 member countries and jurisdictions and a number of international and regional observer organisations and countries. Membership in the APG is not open to individual persons. It is available only for countries with a presence in the Asia Pacific region.
The APG has two Co-Chairs - one permanent and one two-year term rotating Co-Chair. The permanent Co-Chair is Australia (held by Commissioner Tony Negus, the Commissioner of Australian Federal Police) and the current rotating Co-Chair is Singapore (held by Mr Ong Hian Sun, the Director of the Commercial Affairs Department). The past rotating Co-Chair was Dr Yunus Husein of Indonesia (from 2006 to 2008). The APG Secretariat is located Sydney, Australia. The Executive Secretary is Dr Gordon Hook, a lawyer who has practiced law in both Canada and New Zealand.
Jurisdictions that join the APG commit to implement the international standards to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, in particular the Forty Recommendations on Money Launderingand the Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financingof the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). These standards are referred to as the international standards for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).
The APG has a number of roles as stated in its strategic plan including:
The APG conducts mutual evaluations of its members to determine whether they comply, or to what extent they comply, with their obligations to implement the global anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing standards. Some of these reports are conducted jointly with other AML/CFT bodies such as the FATF, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors. The final reports are considered in the APG plenary at the annual meeting and upon completion of that examination are published on the APG website in accordance with internal policy.
The APG also has a robust technical assistance and training function in the region. It is unique among FSRBs in being the first to have formal institutionalised processes for technical assistance and training coordination relating to AML/CFT issues. Each year a number of missions are conducted in the region to assess technical and training needs of various jurisdictions after which the Secretariat coordinates the delivery of assistance from multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors. The APG recently developed a "Strategic Implementation Planning Framework" which assists countries to prioritize and implement the complex recommendations made in APG mutual evaluation reports. The framework was developed jointly with the World Bank.
The APG has a Typologies Working Group which examines trends in money laundering and terrorist financing in the Asia-Pacific region. The reports of this Working Group are published on the APG website and provide sanitised case studies from APG members which in turn assist policy makers and law enforcement agencies in understanding how to target resources to prevent these crimes both at the domestic and the international level. Some of the reports published by the APG include money laundering trends in the gambling and casino sector; the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing through alternative remittance systems and underground banking; and trade-based money laundering.
On the final point above, the APG is also an Associate Member of the Financial Action Task Force which permits individual APG members to attend FATF meetings as APG delegates and intervene on policy and operational issues. The APG also conducts joint meetings with the FATF and other FATF-style bodies around the world.
Members are committed to implementing and enforcing the global AML/CFT standards established by the FATF. Effective July 2009, the 40 members of the APG are:
Of these, 9 are also members of the FATF: Australia; Canada; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Japan; the Republic of Korea; New Zealand; Singapore; and the United States of America. There are now very few jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region which do not participate with the APG as members or observers (including North Korea, Tuvalu, Bhutan and other smaller jurisdictions in the Pacific).
APG observers include potential members of the APG and jurisdictions and organisations that cooperate with the APG to support regional efforts to implement the international standards for AML/CFT.
The following jurisdictions are observers in the APG:
The following international and regional organisations are observers in the APG:
The APG is one of a number of FATF-style regional bodies which have equivalent roles to the APG. FATF-style regional bodies include:
CFATF (the Caribbean)
EAG (Central Asia)
ESAAMLG (Eastern and Southern Africa)
GAFISUD (South America)
GIABA (West Africa)
MENAFATF (Middle East and North Africa)