The nation’s first-ever national assessment report on money laundering and terrorism financing was released yesterday by the Executive Yuan, identifying the areas where the nation could do more to prevent money laundering.

The report identified trafficking in narcotics, fraud, organized crime, corruption, smuggling, securities crimes, third-party money laundering, tax evasion and intellectual property crimes as the nine major areas where improvement was needed.

China, Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia are the top five destinations in terms of criminal gains, while the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam tied for fifth position, the report said.

China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and the Philippines are the top five countries in terms of incoming criminal cash flow, it added.

Thirty-seven government agencies and 31 private-sector groups collaborated on the report, which is aimed at preparing the government for the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) meeting in November, in which Taiwan would undergo its third round of mutual evaluations, after being placed on a watch list in 2011.

Taiwan is one of the founding members of the APG, which was established in 1997.

The report concluded that offshore banking units of domestic banks were very vulnerable, while offshore securities units and branch offices, securities branches, postal services as well as offshore insurance units of foreign banks were highly vulnerable, Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said.

Also included under highly vulnerable entities and professions were jewelry stores, lawyers, accountants, real-estate managers, agricultural financial establishments, insurance companies and securities investment, Chiu said.

Taiwan is the first nation in the Asia-Pacific region to pass legislation against money laundering and had been in compliance with APG regulations up until it was placed on the watch list in 2011, Premier William Lai (賴清德) told a news conference at which the report was released.

The government is well aware that improvements could be made to the nation’s anti-money laundering legislation, and efforts began under former premier Lin Chuan (林全), Lai said.

They include the establishment of the Executive Yuan’s Anti-Money Laundering Office and amending the Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法), as well as the Act to Prevent Financing Terrorism (資恐防制法), Lai said.