Cambodia Invites FATF to Audit the Country, Remove It from Grey List


Cambodia is prepared to prove to the world that it is not the villain that some watchdogs believe it to be. Now, the country wants the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to take another look at it and see that Cambodia does not deserve to be on the organization’s grey list of countries.

FATF May Audit Cambodia Once Again, Says Cambodia

The grey list is generally reserved for companies that are deemed too high a risk for money laundering, and Cambodia’s patchy track record with gambling and human trafficking has really done it no favors. However, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng wants to prove to the FATF that his country has made a substantial effort to remedy the situation and disperse any doubt that Cambodia fails to enforce appropriate AML mechanisms.

Kheng said that his country has followed previous FATF recommendations and is confident that Cambodia can move past this chapter in its history. Speaking to the media and cited by The Phnom Penh Post, Kheng said:

We decided to allow the FATF to make an on-site visit to Cambodia. It will be a golden opportunity for Cambodia to be removed from the grey list. That’s the last goal of the mission of the national coordination committee.

Cambodia has been the subject of criticism over its casino industry, with international watchdogs flagging persistent issues with the sector. Human rights watch groups have alleged that there is serious human trafficking in the industry and that Cambodia has failed to act. The FATF has repeatedly flagged AML failings that have irked local politicians who vituperated against those accusations and called them unjust.

Country Confident in Tweaks It Has Done

There have already been certain changes to tweak the gambling industry in the country, including new guidelines that mandate how commercial casinos will operate in order to ensure that illegal operations are shut down. The police have also been putting crack on illegal websites and underground organizations.

As recently as October, Cambodia raided 10,000 locations in a bid to signal its commitment to rooting out criminals who benefit from arguably lax oversight of the gambling sector.

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