MONEYVAL adopts report on progress of Azerbaijan

MONEYVAL adopts report on progress of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, dec 20 /Trend N.Ismayilova/

Azerbaijan submitted a second report on its progress at the 37th plenary meeting of the Council of Europe Expert Committee on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), the State Securities Committee (SSC) of Azerbaijan said, on Monday.

The meeting was held between 13-16 December in Strasbourg. The head of the interdepartmental working group on the fight against 'dirty money' laundering and chairman of SSC Rufat Aslanli, headed the delegation from Azerbaijan.

Analysis on the report on the progress of Azerbaijan was conducted by the Polish delegation and speaking as a country rapporteur and the secretariat of the MONEYVAL Committee, was heard first.

It was noted in both analyses that Azerbaijan had achieved significant progress in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism and has legal and institutional arrangements in accordance with international standards which have been scrutinised by its Government.

Delegations from Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, San Marino, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund raised questions on the report and expressed their views as to the achievements of Azerbaijan.

The MONEYVAL Committee adopted a report on the progress of Azerbaijan as a result of the discussions. Azerbaijan joined the committee in 2002 after the country's full membership of the Council of Europe in January 2001.

Azerbaijan became the first country in the world to be evaluated according to the new requirements of MONEYVAL in 2003. They represent a set of separate assessments of compliance for each FATF standards on a '40 + 8' (40 standard anti-money laundering and eight to counter prevent financing of terrorism).

However each standard has a few paragraphs with a total of 180 sub-items. Azerbaijan corresponds to FATF standards and evaluation which was given to the country by MONEYVAL and was higher than the assessment conducted under the interagency expert group.

Azerbaijan was assigned to the category of countries corresponding to updated standards of the FATF based on the evaluation. Since then, they were complemented with a new standard on fighting terrorist financing. The second evaluation, which was also described as constructive was conducted in 2008.

MONEYVAL decided to remove a special monitoring system which had been applied to Azerbaijan since 2006 and move towards the transition of a normal assessment procedure which takes place in relation to other countries at the XXXI Plenary Session of the Council of Europe Expert Group on 'dirty money' laundering on December 11, 2009.

This decision was taken due to the achievements of Azerbaijan in the formation and implementation of legislation in the field of fighting against criminally obtained money and property and terrorist financing, as well as in connection with the beginning of the financial monitoring service under the Central Bank.

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