MINSK, 19 March (BelTA) – Experts of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) will present findings of an on-site mutual evaluation report (MER) of Belarus' anti-laundering system in the second half of November 2019 at a plenary session of the Group in Turkmenistan, head of the visiting mission of the EAG experts Aibek Turdukulov told reporters, BelTA has learned.
The visiting mission of the EAG experts kicked off in Belarus on 10 March and will conclude on 21 March. The EAG experts will meet with all the government stakeholders involved in combating money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as with representatives of private business (banks, insurance companies, leasing organizations, notaries, lawyers, etc).
“The Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism was established in 2004 and Belarus is among its founding member states. The previous evaluation of Belarus' compliance with the international anti-laundering standards took place in 2008. The distinctive feature of the ongoing mission is the focus on the measures that have already been taken and the assessment of their efficiency,” Aibek Turdukulov said.
In his words, the mutual evaluation report will cover various areas of activity. It will be scrutinized in Belarus and other EAG member states. It will be forwarded to the Financial Action Task Force against Money Laundering (FATF) and will be available for the public at the beginning of next year. “We have been closely collaborating with Belarusian government agencies for a long time and we see progress in developing the typology, automation of processes, in particular, in the banking sector,” he said.
Director of the Financial Monitoring Department of the State Control Committee of Belarus Vyacheslav Reut underlined that Belarus is actively involved in international efforts to combat money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The on-site MER is an important milestone in assessing Belarus' anti-laundering system. The evaluation was preceded by two years of extensive preparatory work.
“It is the first time such an evaluation is held alongside a national risk assessment. The bottlenecks were identified and all stakeholders drafted plans to remove the existing drawbacks,” Vyacheslav Reut said.
In his words, Belarus expects positive findings of the evaluation, which will help increase credit rankings. According to experts' preliminary estimates, Belarus' law enforcement system works efficiently to prevent money laundering. Prevention of corruption and illegal trade in narcotic drugs are high on the agenda.
The Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism is a regional body modeled on the Financial Action Task Force against Money Laundering. The EAG includes nine countries. The Financial Monitoring Department of the State Control Committee represents Belarus in the organization. The EAG is meant to promote FATF recommendations and monitor their implementation by the member states by assessing their anti-laundering systems.