articles | 19 February 2020 | ServPRO Accountants & Consultants

Encouraging results in MONEYVAL’s report of Cyprus

The Mutual Evaluation Report of Cyprus was published last week by the MONEYVAL Committee of the Council of Europe, following 18 months of work.

The assessment was conducted by a team of experts on the basis of FATF methodology and it analyses the measures adopted by Cyprus with regards to money laundering and terrorist financing, highlighting the areas that still require work.

It is worth noting that evaluation by FATF standards is very demanding and few countries achieve high results. Cyprus is one of the 25 countries out of 98 assessed, not having a low evaluation grade in any pf the 11 pillars of the assessment. Cyprus has been graded as substantially effective in 3 out of the 11 pillars and moderately effective in the remaining 8. Moreover, the country achieved Compliant or Largely Compliant ratings in most of the 40 paraments of the assessment.

Overall, the report noted that all members engaged in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing have demonstrated their commitment in implementing solid policies. Some of the positive findings of the report highlight the fact that there is good understanding of the most serious money laundering risks at the national and sectorial level, there is a good level of co-operation and co-ordination between the competent authorities both on policy issues and at an operational level, the banking sector has become more effective in mitigating risks, mainly due to the increasingly sound supervisory practices of the Central Bank of Cyprus. ASPs have implemented important measures to minimize AML/CFT risks and Cyprus has been effective in executing requests from countries with which it cooperates most actively.

The report also mentioned some areas that still require work, such as the development of the expertise of the police for handling complex cases, the country should increase financial investigations and subsequent freezing and confiscations of illegal proceeds, the enhancement of the supervision of the real estate sector and monitoring of transactions and ASPs should take action to enhance their ML/TF risk understanding and apply preventive measures appropriate to the risks with sanctions being imposed for breaches of requirements.

It is worth noting that the risks relating to the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program have not been assessed comprehensively by the report.

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