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FATF Assessment: Albania is on the right track to prevent money laundering

  • 5/26/2021 1:04 PM
FATF Assessment: Albania is on the right track to prevent money laundering

Since February 2020, Albania has undertaken a broad commitment both at the political and institutional level, to improve the system against money laundering and terrorist financing.

In this context, the Albanian Government has cooperated with the FATF (Task Force for Financial Operations), part of which is Moneyval, for the drafting and implementation of the Action Plan for Albania.

For more than 1 year, leaving aside the unusual conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic, Albania managed to meet in a short time and before being able to agree on a number of objectives of the Action Plan:
- Albania concluded 6 sector analyzes for sectors and specific products with risk and exposure related to “money laundering” and misuse with various forms of activity of legal entities. (Special attention has been paid to the real estate sector, real estate agents, lawyers, accounting experts.)

- Albania increased the supervision of reporting entities through on-site and distance inspections for notaries, lawyers, auditors and accountants, construction companies, foreign exchange offices.

- Albania has undertaken a number of important legal initiatives already under implementation, such as the Law on the Register of Beneficiary Owners and the Register of Bank Accounts, which strengthen measures against money laundering and terrorist financing.

- In the conditions of the pandemic, Albania made possible the extension of the declaration deadline at the National Business Center in implementation of the Law on the Register of Beneficiary Owners, giving more time to entrepreneurs and citizens to make a full declaration without penalties .

All of the above are effective mechanisms that will help Albanian law enforcement institutions to increase their effectiveness in tracking and preventing money laundering or terrorist financing offenses.

The FATF in the Plenary Session of February 2021 has assessed the progress of Albania for the legal initiatives undertaken, as well as the effectiveness of the supervisory system and assesses that the country is on the right track to fulfill the obligations deriving from the Action Plan within the agreed deadlines. Timely fulfillment of this plan will certainly give Albania in the coming months a positive assessment from both the ICRG - FATF.

With the belief that the vetoed bodies of justice will confirm the expectations, Albania's exit from the gray list will be imminent.

/Klara Ruci/