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10 April 2018, 17:35

Belarus' AML/CFT system in for review in 2019

MINSK, 10 April (BelTA) - Preparation of Belarus for the evaluation of its system to combat shadow incomes should be thorough and comprehensive because it is important for its world rankings, Vladimir Nechaev, the Executive Secretary of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG), told the media on the sidelines of the workshop on preparing for international evaluation of Belarus' system to counteract legalization of criminal proceeds (anti-money laundering), counter-terrorist and anti-proliferation (AML/CFT/APF) , BelTA has learned.

The workshop is running in Minsk on 10-13 April. “The event is important for Belarus and for the EAG. Mutual evaluation of Belarus by EAG experts will start next year. This is a regional group similar to FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering). The previous evaluation of Belarus was conducted 10 years ago. Since then, the system has changed. The current assessment will be based on the new methodology. Some of the FATF standards are quite complicated for execution. Therefore, we have organized the workshop for all departments, law enforcement agencies and the private sector to clarify how to pass the evaluation, how to prepare the information,” Vladimir Nechaev noted.

A mission of experts to evaluate the system of combating the legalization of criminal proceeds is expected to visit Belarus in 2019. National assessment is focused on the development of a comprehensive and integrated understanding of every part of the risk: threats, vulnerability, and consequences. It helps determine high-risk economic sectors from the point of view of money laundering and terrorism financing, and work out a strategy to reduce risks in these sectors. Such a strategy is needed for the economic and financial sustainability of the country and also rational and efficient distribution of resources allocated to counteract legalization of criminal proceeds (anti-money laundering), counter-terrorist and anti-proliferation.

The work will result in the mutual evaluation report that will suggest compliance standard ratings. “If a country gets a lot of negative assessments, it may fall under the strict monitoring of FATF, or even get into their list. In due time this list was called a “blacklist”, or a “greylist” of countries with serious problems. I hope that Belarus will not avoid this. A strict, or just a regular monitoring means that the country has to report to the EAG on a regular basis on the progress in solving these problems,” added Vladimir Nechaev.

Belarus is a member of the EAG which includes eight more countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kirghistan, China and India. It means that the experts from these countries will evaluate our activities. Belarusian specialists take part in evaluation missions in other member states of EAG (now in Tajikistan and Kirghistan), Vladimir Nechaev noted.

All in all, there are none regional FATF-style groups. Their main goal is to promote the international standards in the sphere of combating money laundry and financing of terrorism. Some 40 FATF recommendations are currently in force. They are accepted by more than 180 countries. “Mutual evaluations happen approximately every 10 years. Now we are entering a new round as the FATF standards and requirements were revised in 2012. Another new round will not begin until all the regional groups pass through the mutual evaluation. But this round has one peculiarity: in five years after the mutual evaluation report is confirmed there will be a short mission to the country, during which it will have a chance to demonstrate the changes and improve its ratings,” stated Vladimir Nechaev.

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