An interdepartmental government delegation, led by Rosfinmonitoring Deputy Director V I. Glotov and comprising representatives of the Foreign Ministry, Bank of Russia, FSB, Interior Ministry and Roskomnadzor, took part in the Plenary meeting of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), held on 3-7 December 2018 in Strasbourg.
In his opening remarks, Jan Kleijssen, director of the CE Information Society and Action against Crime Directorate, highlighted the special role played by MONEYVAL in the face of the challenges facing the Council of Europe in ensuring the security and integrity of the global financial system. He also reported on measures taken to optimize the organization's expenditure to cope with the budget shortfall.
Discussions of the key agenda items related to the reports on the outcomes of the assessment of the effectiveness of Lithuania and the Czech Republic's AML/CFT regimes were based on the countries' understanding of their own risks in this area, with the organization of the system for investigating and prosecuting both money laundering and terrorist financing, the lack of effective interagency cooperation, and inadequate progress in freezing, seizing and forfeiture of criminal assists being singled out for particularly harsh criticism.
In the end, both jurisdictions were put on an enhanced follow-up process with annual reports to the Plenary on progress in eliminating the identified shortcomings.
Participants were also briefed on progress in improving the national AML/CFT systems of Andorra, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro, voting to grant the requests for removal from a regular follow-up process from Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein and Macedonia.
Given the Egmont countries' interest in studying the Russian experience, an expert from Rosfinmonitoring delivered a presentation on the work carried out by the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring.
Considerable attention of the participants was devoted to the regulation of virtual assets in light of the FATF's recent decision to revise its standards in this area. The latest changes require countries to enshrine in law the requirement for virtual asset service providers to be registered, licensed and regulated.
D. Schwander, a European Commission (EC) representative, briefed the Plenary on the EC latest directive aimed at boosting the effectiveness and efficiency of cross-border AML/CFT cooperation between the competent authorities. He also reported on the EC's work to draft a list of high-risk third countries with ML/TF vulnerabilities.
On the side-lines of the Plenary meeting, the Russian delegation held bilateral talks on the topical issues of industry-specific cooperation with the representatives of the financial intelligence units of Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The next MONEYVAL Plenary meeting will be held in Strasbourg in July 2019.