On 20 June 2024, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the publication by Singapore of its updated Money Laundering (ML) National Risk Assessment (NRA), as part of its continuing efforts to maintain the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering (AML) regime amidst the evolving risk landscape.

The press release notes that within the financial sectors, digital payment token (DPT) services providers (or virtual assets service providers) are a higher risk sector of note. It explains that there has been an increase in reported cases involving DPTs and that there are various ways in which DPTs can be exploited.

As a result, while DPT activities in Singapore form a small portion of global activities, Singapore authorities are closely monitoring the risks involved in this sector. Other sectors identified within the financial industry that pose higher ML risks are payment institutions providing cross-border money transfer services (including remittance agents), and external asset managers.

The MAS notes that the findings in the updated ML NRA will guide Singapore’s ongoing efforts to ensure that its AML regime keeps pace with the identified risks. These include continued risk-targeted efforts to sensitise financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions to the key, new and emerging ML risks, as well as to allow more timely detection, disruption and enforcement of illicit activities by law enforcement and supervisory agencies.