IMF discusses action program

Azerbaijan, Baku, August 4 / Trend I. Khalilova /

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provided Azerbaijan with technical assistance to counter money-laundering and terrorist financing, the government said.

"An IMF mission, which included director of money laundering, terrorist financing department Giuseppe Lombardo, chief economist at the finance department Daniel Thelesklaf and others arrived in Baku to discuss the details of the technical assistance program," the government said.

The main objective of the mission was to assess and study programs and procedures related to information technologies, including training on financial monitoring. The fund's experts expressed their willingness to assist in the preparation of internal procedures for the Financial Monitoring Service of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA).

Azerbaijan became the first country evaluated under the new requirements of the CE expert group Moneyval in 2003. This is a complex of individual conformity assessment standard FATF on the basis of "40 + 8" (40 standards for combating money laundering and 8 - to counter the financing of terrorism). However, each standard has a few paragraphs, including about 180 sub-items.

Azerbaijan was assigned to the category of countries, mostly corresponding to the updated standards of FATF. Standards are supplemented with a new standard for combating the financing of terrorism. The second evaluation was conducted in 2008, which was also described as constructive. Three comprehensive assessments were conducted in Azerbaijan.

After evaluations Azerbaijan adopted the law "Combat money laundering, property and financing of terrorism obtained by criminal means". Financial Monitoring Service was established under the Central Bank.

The service should organize a centralized electronic information system to collect data, registration of legal and physical entities, about which the Financial Monitoring Service has information regarding participation in the legalization of money and property derived from criminal activity and terrorism financing.

The monitoring will cover credit institutions, insurance and reinsurance organizations, professional securities market, leasing services of credit institutions, money transfer through post offices and other organizations, pawnshops, investment funds, transactions with precious metals and stones, and purchase products, non-governmental and religious organizations, organizers of lotteries, providing services to purchase real estate, as well as lawyers, accountants, real estate transactions, clients' money, securities and property, client bank and deposit accounts.

Late last year the CE Committee of Experts MO­NEY­VAL made a statement in connection with the removal of the special regime for monitoring used by the Committee in respect of Azerbaijan since 2006, and the transition to the normal assessment procedure, which is held in respect of other countries. The decision was made in connection with the achievements of Azerbaijan to form and use legislation in the field of combating the legalization of money, property and terrorist financing, gained by criminal activity, as well as in connection with the Financial Monitoring Service's activity under the Central Bank.

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