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China targets illegal money flows to Macau

China has launched a crackdown on illicit money flows to Macau as part of efforts to combat money laundering and corruption, the South China Morning Post reported.

The mainland’s Ministry of Public Security held a meeting with Macau regulators last month to address criminal activities related to the use of mainland bank cards and point-of-sale terminals in Macau.

The Monetary Authority of Macau will meet the city’s bankers next month to discuss a new system that will allow the mainland’s Ministry of Public Security to access all transactions through China UnionPay bank cards.

The Monetary Authority also asked banks to provide information of high-risk businesses, such as shops that sell watches, jewelry, wine, dried seafood and pharmaceuticals, which use the China UnionPay bank card system.

Reuters reported in May that Macau had banned the use of UnionPay cards at luxury goods stores inside casinos starting July 1 to combat illegal transactions and money laundering by mainland visitors. The visitors usually swipe their UnionPay cards to make fake purchases then withdraw cash to dodge the mainland’s currency control and anti-money laundering rules.

Chinese authorities fear that the UnionPay cards terminals are being used by corrupt officials to send money out of the country, according to Reuters. 

Sources: South China Morning Post, Monetary Authority of Macau, Reuters


Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.

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