Albania Registers Slight Improvement in Money Laundering Index

Albania has the highest risk of money laundering in the region, despite improving slightly from 2021, according to the Basel Index ranking.

Albania came 74th out of 128 countries and scored 4.92 points out of ten, with zero being the lowest risk. Kosovo scored 4.14, Serbia 4.87, North Macedonia 3.94 and Montenegro 3.99. Nearby EU member states did not fare so well either, as Greece got 3.7 and Italy 4.55.

The countries with the highest risk of money laundering are the Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Haiti, Myanmar, Iran, Mozambique and Guinea, while the countries with the lowest risk according to the index are Estonia, Finland, Andorra, Sweden and Iceland.

Scores are tallied based on several elements. First is the legal framework to prevent money laundering, where Albania scored 4.6. It performed poorly in the corruption and bribery section with 6.14 and political and legal risk with 5.54. Public transparency fared better with 3.4.

Overall, Albania is classed as a country with an average risk of money laundering due in part to its inclusion on the UK’s third-country risk list and the FATF grey list.

According to the 2020 recommendations, Albania should work to implement its action plan, including:

(1) conducting additional in-depth analysis to understand money laundering and other risks adequately, and strengthening institutional coordination and cooperation;

(2) improving the timely handling of requests for mutual legal assistance;

(3) creation of effective mechanisms for the detection and prevention of criminal infiltration of the economy, including strengthening the powers of the competent authorities to undertake the necessary actions;

(4) ensuring that accurate and up-to-date ownership information is available on a timely basis;

(5) increasing the number and improving the sophistication of money laundering prosecutions and forfeitures, particularly in cases involving foreign predicate offences or third-party money laundering;

(6) improving the implementation of targeted financial sanctions, primarily through enhanced supervisory action and a targeted, proactive approach.