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Serbia makes strides in combating money laundering and terrorist financing

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Serbia has significantly strengthened its efforts regarding virtual assets and service providers, according to a recent statement from MONEYVAL, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body. Out of the 40 recommendations, Serbia is now fully aligned with five, while 35 are rated as “largely compliant.”

The Council of Europe announced, “Serbia has taken significant steps forward in enhancing its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) regime, particularly in terms of aligning with Recommendation 15 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concerning new technologies.”

This recommendation entails that states and their financial institutions must identify and evaluate the risks of money laundering or terrorist financing arising from the emergence of new (such as digital) products and business practices. This includes new delivery mechanisms and the utilization of new or emerging technologies, both for new ventures and existing products.

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Financial institutions are required to conduct such risk assessments before introducing new products, business practices, or utilizing new or emerging technologies. They must take proactive measures to manage and mitigate potential risks.

Serbia has made considerable progress in addressing the technical compliance gaps identified in its 2016 Mutual Evaluation Report.

As a result of its enhanced compliance with FATF recommendations, Serbia is no longer obligated to report to MONEYVAL under the 5th round of evaluations, as stated by the Council of Europe.

According to MONEYVAL’s report, Serbia’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) was adopted in April 2016.

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“In light of the findings of the MER, Serbia has been placed under intensified monitoring. This report does not address Serbia’s progress in enhancing its effectiveness,” today’s MONEYVAL report states.

MONEYVAL, the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, is the Council of Europe’s oversight body responsible for assessing compliance with fundamental international standards for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of weapons of mass destruction proliferation. Additionally, it evaluates the effectiveness of their implementation.

MONEYVAL conducts assessments of 33 states and territories, offering recommendations to national authorities for necessary improvements in their systems for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as for suppressing the financing of weapons proliferation.

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