ArmInfo. Armenia intends to apply the proposals of the Council of Europe to intensify the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Amendments to the laws on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Criminal Code and the Civil Code were introduced at the March 1 sitting of the parliament in the second and final reading.
Introducing the package, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia Vakhtang Abrahamyan recalled that in June 2014 the National Assembly of Armenia adopted a package of 15 laws, thanks to which the system of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism was brought to a qualitatively new level. This is evidenced by the fifth report of the experts of the Council of Europe on the evaluation of measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (MONEYVAL), prepared in December 2015. Despite the positive assessment of the measures taken, nevertheless, the report presented some problems, on the solution of which the relevant proposals were given, including at the legislative level.
Based on these proposals, bills include such a notion as the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which is brought into line with the resolution of the UN Security Council.
In addition, cash transactions for real estate are limited. In particular, an amendment is included in the package, according to which transactions exceeding 50 million drams must be made by wire transfer. The bill will come into force six months after the official publication.
Earlier, the Council of Europe called on Armenia to increase the number of measures against money laundering. MONEYVAL experts noted Armenia's significant work on creating a legislative structure against such violations, and the financial sector effectively applies preventive measures. Mechanisms for recognizing and preventing the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are generally effective. The risks of tax evasion, smuggling and embezzlement are the most serious threats to money laundering. The most vulnerable sectors are banks and real estate. Financial data are collected very effectively, but law enforcement agencies do not always properly investigate them.