From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
MONEYVAL Notes Progress against Money Laundering but Albania Will Still Remain in Enhanced Monitoring

The Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) has said that Albania has made some progress in fighting money laundering, but not enough to remove the need to enhanced monitoring.

The First Enhanced Follow-up Report, published today noted that “Albania has made progress to address the technical compliance deficiencies identified in the Mutual Evaluation Report” and as a result, has improved in its ratings on a number of recommendations.

Over the last year, improvements made by the Albanian government, MONEYVAL has re-rated Albania on Recommendations 6 (targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism and terrorist financing) and 19 (higher risk countries) as “compliant” and Recommendations 8 (non-profit organisations) and 35 (sanctions) as “largely compliant”. 

MONEYVAL has also examined the implementation of new requirements concerning FATF Recommendations which have changed since the mutual evaluation report was adopted (notably, Recommendations 2, 18 and 21). 

Recommendation 18 (internal controls and foreign branches and subsidiaries) is now rated as “largely compliant” and Recommendation 21 (tipping-off and confidentiality) is re-rated as “compliant”. The rating of Recommendation 2 (national cooperation and coordination, which was rated as “largely compliant”) remains unchanged.  

Albania is now “compliant” on five of the 40 FATF recommendations and “largely compliant” on 28 of them. It remains “partially compliant” on five and “non-compliant” on one of the 40 FATF Recommendations.

MONEYVAL decided that Albania will remain in an enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report back on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

Exit conducted an exclusive interview with Gianluca Esposito, the Executive Director of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) at the CoE in December. He noted how “corruption, money laundering, and crime remain a threat for Albania” and that while on paper there is a “high level of political commitment” and some measures have been introduced, they still need to be both completed and implemented.

“The government is going in the right direction but most importantly – and I am insisting on this – reforms are only any good if they are effectively and properly implemented,” he said.