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Council of Europe urges Albania to step up efforts to combat money laundering

Council of Europe urges Albania to step up efforts to combat money laundering Albania flag

TIRANA (Albania), December 17 (SeeNews) – The Albanian authorities should step up their efforts in pursuing launderers and confiscating their assets connected to significant proceeds-generating offences, and in tackling terrorist financing related risks, the Council of Europe said on Monday.

Albanian authorities have a reasonably good understanding of the country’s money laundering risks in the formal economy and have national coordination mechanisms for policy-making to address risks, the Council of Europe's anti-money laundering body said in a report.

However, these mechanisms have not proven to be fully effective and there are some areas that would benefit from a more detailed analysis of the threats posed, Moneyval said.

The report makes a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of Albania’s anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing system and its level of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

“Based on the results of its evaluation, Moneyval decided to apply its enhanced follow-up procedure to Albania,” the report noted.

"Corruption poses major money laundering risk in Albania. Often linked to organized crime activities, it generates substantial amounts of criminal proceeds and seriously undermines the effective functioning of the criminal justice system," the Moneyval report highlighted.  

Albania has been an official candidate for joining the EU since June 2014.

The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism - Moneyval is a permanent monitoring body of the Council of Europe entrusted with the task of assessing compliance with the principal international standards to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism.