From: Exit Staff
Albanian Association of Banks Criticises Draft Law on Fiscal Amnesty over Money Laundering Concerns

The Albanian Association of Banks has levied criticism against the draft law on Fiscal Amnesty which will allow the deposit of undeclared assets and income into Albanian banks without fiscal obligations, the need to disclose the source, and without criminal liability. The proposed law will also allow ex-state officials and politicians who left their position three years or more ago, to benefit from the amnesty.

The Association says that it creates the conditions for money laundering to take place. In an opinion sent to the Committee on Economy in the Assembly, the Association requests the issuance of a certificate from the Special Tax Unit for the amount of money to be declared.

“We think the Special Unit should issue a certificate which presumes that they have performed the obligations set out in Article 4 of this law and the bank will not request information or documentation regarding the justification of the creation of the fund to be deposited,” they write in their statement.

The Association also seeks that the law specifies that information on the source of funds will be given to foreign banks in cases of transfers. 

The Banking Association are not the only ones to have raised concerns about the possibility of money laundering.

The EU Delegation in Albania has asked the government to not allow the deposit of cash, but only via bank transfers. If the money is to be physically transported by a person, they must declare it at the border of the country of origin.

Following a visit to Tirana on 1 July, the International Monetary Fund said that the law creates conditions for money laundering and will impact honest businesses. The IMF stressed that the country needs to first set up effective systems to detect tax evasion, prevent corruption, and stop money laundering, rather than further incite them.

On 1 August, the Economy Committee announced the postponement to September of the review of the draft law. The Chairperson of the Commission Milva Ekonomi said that due to some suggestions, more time was required to review it.