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In recent years, terrorism has been a big threat to human rights in many countries. The Executive Yuan passed the draft of the “Terrorist Financing Prevention Act” on January 14 meeting international standards. If Taiwanese people directly or indirectly finance terrorist acts, they will be sentenced one year to seven years in prison with a fine up to NT$10 million (approximately US$298,453).

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China Times reports, the spokesperson of the Executive Yuan, Sun Lih-chyun, says that there was not a clear regulation for financing terrorism in the past, but to draft an act is an international trend that Taiwan will catch up to.

Many countries impose penalty on those who finance terrorist acts, terrorist groups and its members. For terrorist groups, members and those who spread weapons, the governments freeze their assets to effectively prevent the expansion of terrorism.

The Ministry of Justice says, acts in Taiwan have not yet corresponded to the international standard of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). Also, according to the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), Taiwan’s acts have flaws so that they have asked Taiwan to draft related regulations on penalties and sanctions as soon as possible.

UDN reports, most of the content in the Terrorist Financing Prevention Act refers to Taiwan’s Guns, Ammunition and Knives Control Act, Money Laundering Prevention Act and South Korea’s laws of combating the financing of terrorism. In the future, Taiwan’s national security system and central bank can discuss the list of terrorist groups together.

The Executive Yuan stresses, the list of terrorist groups is defined by the definition of international organizations or is provided to the advisory committee by the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau. Its sanction focuses on cash flow management to prevent the cash breaking point that turns into financing terrorist groups.

Yam News reports, the draft of the act refers to the UN’s International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The Ministry of Justice should establish an advisory committee for terrorist financing prevention to discuss the terrorist list and related measures. The ministry holds the right to provide these sanctions lists, including individuals, juristic persons and groups.

Korea JoongAng Daily reports, South Korea has been the chair country of FATF since July 2015. South Korea President Park Geun-hye says, “As the chair country of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Korea will contribute to strengthen legal measures in member countries to stop terrorist funding.” Taiwan’s draft also refers to South Korea’s law.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang