Press release - DC014(2014)
Council of Europe report urges Israel to extend its anti-money laundering regime to lawyers and other non-financial businesses
Strasbourg, 06.02.2014 – In a
report published today, the Council of Europe’s
MONEYVAL Committee calls on Israel to improve its anti-money laundering regime, for example by extending it to designated non-financial business and professions, such as lawyers, notaries, accountants, auditors, tax advisors, real estate agents or dealers in precious metals and stones.
The report sets out an analysis of the implementation by Israel of international and European standards. The main findings can be summed-up as follows:
· MONEYVAL urges the Israeli authorities to promptly introduce legislation to address the lack of an anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime for designated non-financial business and professions. This shortcoming is of particular concern with regard to the diamond industry, which is of great economic importance.
· Israel has secured convictions for both money laundering and terrorist financing on a regular basis. There has also been a substantial increase in the number of cases involving seizure of the proceeds of crime with a corresponding increase in the sums confiscated;
· The Israel Money laundering and Terror financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA), which is the financial intelligence unit, now has access to a much greater range of information than in MONEYVAL´s previous evaluation, in 2011. The reports produced by IMPA are valued by the relevant law enforcement agencies;
· The anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisory framework is well established. All of the designated supervisors have adequate powers which are regularly applied and appear to be effective, proportionate and dissuasive;
· Although detailed customer identification measures are in place, there remain certain deficiencies. In particular, provident funds, insurance companies and money service providers are not required to verify the identity of the beneficial owner of their customers. The definition of beneficial owner is not fully in line with the standards. There are also serious shortcomings in the requirements to identify politically exposed persons and to establish their source of wealth.
· There has been a significant increase in the volume and quality of unusual activity reports, and particularly in the number of reports from the non-banking sector.
· There is insufficient information available on the beneficial owners of private or foreign trusts. There are no legal requirements on trust service providers to obtain, verify and retain records of the trusts they create, including beneficial ownership details. MONEYVAL encourages the authorities to address this concern;
· Comprehensive mechanisms are in place for national and international cooperation, and Israel actively cooperates with other jurisdictions at all levels.
MONEYVAL will continue to monitor Israel´s implementation of its recommendations through its regular procedures. This requires the country to submit a report on progress on the regime concerning designated non-financial business and professions on an expedited basis by December 2014 and a more detailed regular follow up report by December 2015.
The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (
MONEYVAL) is a Council of Europe body that assesses compliance with the relevant international and European standards to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, and makes recommendations to national authorities. 28 Council of Europe member states are currently subject to MONEYVAL’s evaluation procedures, as well as Israel, the Holy See (including the Vatican City State) and the United Kingdom’s Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey.
Jaime Rodriguez, Tel. 33 3 90 21 47 04 ; Mob. 33 6 89 99 50 42
Council of Europe Directorate of Communications
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11