Bulgaria Must Strengthen its Measures Against Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing – Moneyval
Moneyval called on Bulgaria to improve the regulatory standards for the domestic framework consisting of measures that prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities
The council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body, Moneyval stated that it has made recommendations to the authorities of Bulgaria on the regulations of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The country must strengthen its regulatory standards which implement at the domestic level measures against illicit financing activities.
Moneyval stated that the utilization of financial intelligence in prosecutions and investigations must be improved in line with the requisition of property or crime proceedings including specified financial sanctions. The ill use of legal arrangements and people given the low effectiveness also needs to be strengthened.
The assessment of threats in terms of money laundering and terrorism financing in Bulgaria is not fully effective, as well as the measures taken on the risks of prosecutions and investigation are also not up to the mark. Similarly, the approach to the preventive measures including the supervision of financial firms and other non-financial officers including accountants, notaries, lawyers and organisational service providers must be honed.
Moneyval stated: “Bulgaria should take a more systematic approach to investigate the financing aspects of the terrorism-related offences, improve the national mechanism for implementing targeted financial sanctions and conduct a more comprehensive analysis of terrorism financing vulnerabilities in the non-profit sectors. Bulgaria should also enhance risk-based supervision or monitoring of those non-profit organisations that are at risk of being misused for terrorism financing,”
The report mentioned a lacking of concerns on preventive measures against the criminals entering the marketplace in various sectors, especially the real estate brokers, casino operators, virtual asset providers and trust service providers. The country must also take control of the risk-based supervision or monitoring of multiple NPOs on the entry measures that will help in the prevention of unlicensed businesses.
Moneyval mentioning the lack of controls also said that: “Despite Bulgaria’s efforts to increase the transparency of the beneficial ownership regime, there are significant concerns in relation to the accuracy of the beneficial ownership information held in the registers and by the obliged entities. Moneyval recommends urgently reviewing policies and taking urgent actions in this sphere,”