Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WATCH TRANSFERS TO MACEDONIA, IN LIGHT OF EU REPORT AND OTHER PROGRESS


Good compliance officers have learnt to focus on new and large funds transfers to a European country if EU membership appears possible. Whenever  news reports indicate any positive movement towards EU accession occurs, experienced money launderers take note, as you must as well.

They often think far ahead of short-term results for their largest "clients," and have been known to transfer funds to the potential new EU member, banking upon the knowledge that, upon entry into the Eurozone,
overburdened local regulators, and law enforcement agencies, often cannot check Source of Funds and Beneficial Ownership of corporate entities. A substantial amount of suspect funds end up in Euro form.

This week, Macedonia received favourable mention in the 2011 Enlargement Package adopted by the European Commission. Additionally, the deadlock brought about due to the issue, with Greece, over the country's name, appears to be moving closer to a resolution.

Also be aware that AML/CFT laws and enforcement in countries in Southeastern Europe has lagged behind the rest of the continent, as has the implementation of banking best practises. Money launderers have taken full advantage of these shortcomings in the past.

Therefore, it would be prudent to flag any large and unusual funds transfer passing through your bank, en route Macedonia, particularly if the funds are coming from offshore financial centres.
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