MONEYVAL warns Serbia not to abuse law to suppress legitimate civil activities

NEWS 25.06.2021 17:46

The Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism officially knows ad MONEYVAL, warned Serbia's anti-money laundering authority over the "List" case, that the legal framework for those illegal activities should not be abused to suppress legitimate civil society activities.

In the report published this week, it said that at the MONEYVAL plenary session on April 28, the case „List“ from July last year was high on the agenda, after Serbia’s Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing requested verification of banking transactions of 57 organisations and individuals from the media and the civil sector without an appropriate legal basis and contrary to international standards in this area.

Considering Serbia’s official statement on the case, MONEYVAL once again said that financial intelligence bodies, such as the Directorate, did not have the authority to request information from banks without suspicion of money laundering, terrorist financing and other bound works.

Furthermore, a clear warning was issued to MONEYVAL member countries, including Serbia, not to intentionally or unintentionally abuse the FATF recommendations to suppress legitimate civil society activities.

The MONEYVAL’s report summary said it re-rated the country with three Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) originally rated as „partially compliant.“

„Serbia was placed in an enhanced follow-up process, following the adoption of its mutual evaluation report, which assessed the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) measures and their compliance with the FATF Recommendations. In line with MONEYVAL’s rules of procedure, the country has reported back to MONEYVAL on the progress it has made to strengthen its AML/CFT framework,“ MONEYVAL said on its website.

For the whole report, click here.