Publication Date05 March 2021
Date05 March 2021
SubjectAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial compliance/regulation,Financial crime
AuthorBarry A.K. Rider
The price of ef‌fective international co-operation
One might be forgiven for assuming that during the pandemic and in particular the
lockdown(s) no one has bothereda great deal about money laundering and the industry that
has grown up around it. While it is true that many of us have focussed on our perceptionsof
survival (both professionally and personally) there are those who have seized the
opportunity, not only to exploit the generosity of governments and many others, but also
defraud the weak and vulnerable whether in selling them a duff face mask or miracle
blessed oil to defeat the evil virus. I do not intendto attempt to chronicle let alone comment
on such sadly predictable and deplorable opportunism. What is perhaps more relevant and
of interest to readers of this journal andpotentially even more controversial is the impact of
the disruption that has taken place in international co-operation between law enforcement
agencies and I am not speaking about BREXIT on this occasion!
Whether we like it or not China is a player in most commercially and f‌inanciallyrelevant
transactions in the modern world. Although the future relationship betweenChina and the
Westin the immediate to mediumterm, does not look like being characterised by good will
and harmony, the reality of Chinas economicpower is clear for all to see. Chinas leadership
has shown a fondness for usingits economic power to bully others into line. The deployment
of soft power has been well illustrated in recent years in regard to those who deal with
Taiwan in a way that China disapproves of. Historically Taiwan has had a lot to offer
countries across the world, in terms of intelligence and legal assistance. Indeed, until
relatively recently the Taiwaneseagencies were one of the very few who had any ability to
address serious Chinese organised crime. This, at least at an intelligence level, became all
the more important after 1997 and the gradualredef‌iningof police priorities in Hong Kong.
While it is now recognised in many circles that the assumption that the Chinese
establishment and triads were if not good bedfellows on speaking terms was at least a
miscalculation, the political history of Taiwan has necessitated a complex and obscured
relationship between government and some perhaps dubious networks. Thus, while not
always as candid and as independent as might have been hoped, agencies such as the
Taiwanese Ministry of Justices Investigation Bureau (MJIB) have been in the main,willing
to assist foreign agencies. Indeed, there was a period under the presidency of Dr Ma Ying-jeou,
when this was extended on a mutual basis across the Straights to the PRC.
China has for the last thirty or so years been keen to emphasiseits willingness to assist
and co-operate with foreign law enforcement and in particular judicial agencies. The f‌it,
given Chinas civilian traditions, has not always been cosy and there are many in western
agencies who distrust at least the conf‌identiality of communications. There is also the
perception that the ChineseCommunist Party has a too greater interest in what happens and
before the most recent crusade against corruption, the threat of encountering corrupt
off‌icials was consideredto be too great. For example, in a relatively recent case an individual
who allegedly has close associationswith the Snakes Head triad and operated within senior
levels of the British commercial, f‌inancial and even political establishment, was alerted
Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the Editorial 23.4 in the Journal of
Economic and Administrative Sciences was omitted. This error was introduced in the editorial
process and has now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this
error and for any inconvenience caused.
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.23 No. 4, 2020
pp. I-III
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JMLC-05-2020-0049

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