China central bank to strengthen anti-money laundering cooperation overseas

Headquarters of the PBOC, the central bank, is pictured in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's central bank said on Wednesday it would strengthen cooperation with countries including European nations to curb cross-border money laundering activities.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement that cross-border cooperation would focus on anti-money laundering regulation, financial information exchange, and asset recovery among other areas.

The statement, sent to Reuters via email, was given in response to a Reuters story last week in which a senior official at the European police agency Europol warned that the Baltic states were at risk from "huge inflows of criminal money" from Russia and China.

A recent report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global standard-setter in fighting money laundering, said a "large amount of illicit proceeds flows out of China annually".

"The Chinese government has spared no effort to crack down on all kinds of criminal activities, including money laundering," the PBOC said.

It has recovered 8.6 billion yuan ($1.25 billion) in illegal funds from over 90 countries during 2014 to 2016.

"Of course, there is room for improvement in this area, and we are working to strengthen these aspects," it said.

China is due to take over the presidency of the 38-member FATF on July 1.

($1 = 6.9041 Chinese yuan renminbi)


(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)