The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of mutual legal assistance (MLA) within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in combating money laundering.
This paper first examines the scenario of money laundering (ML) in Southeast Asia and the ASEAN's response. It then discusses the legal framework and practice of regional MLA in anti‐money laundering (AML). Statistic and hypothetical cases will be provided to illustrate the arguments.
Despite the strongly political commitment, ASEAN States have failed in response to ML effectively. MLA that is one of the most important forms of regional cooperation in combating ML has confronted a range of barriers. Insufficient capacity of law enforcement across the region and disparities among national criminal laws are the utmost barriers. Among the ASEAN State authorised agencies, police is a crucial one in processing MLA for AML.
This paper would be beneficial for the regional policy makers and law enforcement agencies in order to make the regional cooperation in combating ML more effective.
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