Press release - DC159(2011)

Council of Europe issues report on measures to combat money laundering and terrorism financing in Cyprus

Strasbourg, 08.12.2011 – The Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL Committee today published a report on measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Cyprus, following an on-site visit last year (June 2010).

Findings from the evaluation report include:

· Since the third round, Cyprus has taken additional measures to fight money laundering and financing of terrorism, through the enactment of legislation and sector-specific norms, which have addressed most of the issues raised in the course of the previous evaluation.
· Cyprus has criminalized money laundering and the financing of terrorism largely in line with the standard set by the Financial Action Task Force. The number of convictions for money laundering has increased and helpful case law on freezing and confiscation has been established.
· Overall, the financial sector appears to be adequately monitored, although the noticeable decrease in the past years of the number of on-site visits in some parts of the financial sector is of concern. As regards designated non financial businesses and professions, supervision needs stepping up with additional resources allocated to the relevant supervisory authorities.
· Concerns remain that real estate and dealers in precious metals and stones may not be fully implementing the anti-money laundering requirements.
· The legal framework for mutual legal assistance is sound and Cyprus responds to requests for assistance generally in an efficient and effective manner. It was nonetheless recommended that a system is put into place to monitor the quality and speed of executing international requests for co-operation.

MONEYVAL will continue to monitor implementation of the recommendations by Cyprus through its biennial follow-up procedures, which require the country to submit a succinct updated report by September 2013.

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The Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) was established in 1997. It is a monitoring body of the Council of Europe that assesses compliance with the relevant international and European standards to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, and makes recommendations to national authorities in respect of necessary improvements in their systems to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 28 Council of Europe member states are currently subject to MONEYVAL’s evaluation procedures, as well as Israel and the Holy See (including the Vatican City State).

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11

pressunit@coe.int

www.coe.int



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