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According to MONEYVAL, Albania has failed to take the necessary steps to improve measures on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing in line with the guidance provided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
MONEYVAL is the Council of Europe unit that is responsible for overseeing the prevention of financial crime in the Member States of the EU.
An assessment was made and many issues were highlighted regarding tackling financial crimes. After the assessment, the country was put into process for enhanced follow up. They are now required to provide FATF with a report of their annual basis regarding the progress it has made in complying with their recommendations.
It was understood that the country will work towards improvement by addressing some of the recommendations by the end of the third year, however, it still seems like Albania has not made an honest effort.
The issues with technical compliance were highlighted in relation to the targeted financial sanctions. The deficiencies in the transparency of the legal arrangement and scrutiny of financial and non-financial businesses were also identified.
These shortcomings were addressed by MONEYVAL after they analyzed the series of legislative, institutional, and regulatory measures enforced by Albania. MONEYVAL discovered that only a few steps were taken by the officials regarding the targeted financial sanctions which encouraged the rating of compliance with FATF recommendations to a partial complaint from the non-compliant status.
MONEYVAL said, “Limited steps have been taken to improve compliance with the other Recommendations, but gaps remain. Albania is encouraged to continue its efforts to address the remaining deficiencies. Albania is expected to address the outstanding issues and report back to Plenary within one year.”
The raised concerns also include the need to implement proper regulatory measures for casino licenses. The Albanian law does not contain anything related to beneficial owners who are suspected to be criminals or illicit entities for being excluded from the licensing process. Authorities pointed out that limited steps were taken to stop criminals from managing businesses. The sanctions were not consistent and there is no deterrent to stop those trying to engage in illicit activities.