Bank Negara: Terrorists finding ways to avoid detection in money transfers


KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia has warned that terrorist groups are using crypto currencies and advancements in technology to transfer money without being detected by the authorities.

Assistant governor Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya said this was the groups’ new modus operandi.

“It is a global phenomenon. They can use new payment modes and other ways to make it easier to transfer funds.

“For us in Malaysia, we have money changers and other institutions that are subject to strict regulations.

“They (terrorists) will look for new modes to avoid being scrutinised,” he said after closing the 9th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing here.

Crypto currencies such as Bitcoin are a digital asset designed to work as a medium of digital exchange, using cryptography to secure transactions.

Abu Hassan said terrorists do not require large funds to run their activities.

“They could use technological advancements and newer payment methods to transfer money,” he said, adding that they would use whatever opportunities that were available to do so.

According to Abu Hassan, Bank Negara, banks and law enforcers are aware of the problem and are strengthening their units to address the issue.

One way to do so is to establish a compliance unit, he said.

He acknowledged that there was a risk in the new methods of payment, but said by creating awareness on the issue, authorities were being proactive and would be better prepared to detect the problem.

Bank Negara and another 16 agencies including law enforcement groups have meetings to discuss possible money laundering acts, he added.