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Large cash transactions under stronger scrutiny

Large cash transactions under stronger scrutiny

Starting next year, financial services companies are required to report cash transactions of more than 50 million won ($49,900) to the government.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) said on Thursday (May 26) that it decided to strengthen regulations on financial transactions in order to curb an increase in suspected money laundering.

Under the new regulation, which will go into effect on Jan. 18 next year, financial firms should report cash transactions of more than 50 million won by individuals to the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU) within a day.

The limit will be lowered to 30 million won in 2008 and 20 million won in 2010, the ministry said.

Currently, financial companies are required to just report transactions they suspect of money laundering of over 20 million won. The ceiling was lowered last year from 50 million won.

According to the ministry, suspected money laundering cases in South Korea more than doubled in the first quarter due mainly to the lowering of the cap on the amount of transactions subject to mandatory reports.

Financial companies reported 1,646 cases of suspected money laundering in the January-March period, up from 791 a year earlier.

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