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Malaysian central bank eyes tougher rules against illegal remittance businesses

Malaysia's central bank is proposing changes to rules governing the remittance, money changing and wholesale currency businesses in the country in an effort to stamp out illegal businesses by unlicensed operators.

Bank Negara Malaysia is proposing amendments to the Money Services Business Act of 2011 that would allow swifter and more punitive enforcement actions to combat illegal money services businesses. The central bank proposed mandatory imprisonment and a minimum fine of 50,000 Malaysian ringgit for conducting money services business without a license.

The central bank plans to widen the definition of remittance business to cover different types of remittance transactions. The proposed enhancements would also remove the requirement to show that a remittance operator acted with a view to making the funds available to a beneficiary.

The central bank is accepting public feedback from the proposals until April 19.

As of March 21, US$1 was equivalent to 4.05 Malaysian ringgit.