The purpose of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) is to ensure the adoption, implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards as set out in the FATF Forty Recommendations and FATF Eight Special Recommendations. The effort includes assisting countries and territories of the region in enacting laws to deal with the proceeds of crime, mutual legal assistance, confiscation, forfeiture and extradition; providing guidance in setting up systems for reporting and investigating suspicious transactions and helping in the establishment of financial intelligence units. The APG also enables regional factors to be taken into account in the implementation of anti-money laundering measures.
The origins of the APG go back to “awareness raising” activities undertaken by the FATF in the early 1990s as part of its strategy to encourage adoption of money laundering counter-measures throughout the world. In order to achieve more concrete results, Australia agreed to set up a Secretariat for the purpose of obtaining regional commitment and establishing a regional FATF-style body with practical objectives. Subsequently, an agreement was reached in Bangkok in 1997 which created the APG. The first meeting was held in Tokyo in 1998 and then annually thereafter.
Following the events of 11 September 2001, the APG expanded its scope to include the countering of terrorist financing. The APG conducts mutual evaluations of its members and holds a periodic workshop on money laundering methods and trends. Its work mandate has been set out in a document containing specific terms of reference for the group.
The APG is supported by a Secretariat, which serves as the focal point for its activities. The APG became an Associate Member of the FATF in 2006.