On November 15-16, 2018 the Plenary session of the Eurasian group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG), chaired by Ms. HAO Jinghua (China), was held in Minsk (Republic of Belarus). Co-Chairman of the EAG is the representative of the Russian Federation, Director of Rosfinmonitoring Yury Chikhanchin. The event was attended by over 250 representatives from Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as countries and observer organizations in the EAG - such as FATF, world Bank, CTC and UNODC, CIS ATC and others.
The key issue on the agenda of the Plenary meeting was the presentation of evaluation report of the Republic of Tajikistan within the 2nd round of mutual assessments of the EAG.
HAO Jinghua – «The second round of mutual evaluations is a priority for all the EAG member States, it is a difficult work and all countries take this issue very seriously. At the end of the first round, we aligned our AML/CFT systems from a technical point of view and laid the foundations for further improvement. Now it's time to demonstrate their effectiveness».
The Plenary meeting approved the report and the executive summary of mutual evaluation of the Republic of Tajikistan in the framework of the second round of EAG mutual evaluations. The meeting noted the significant progress of the Republic of Tajikistan in improving the AML/CFT system after the previous assessment. The Plenary discussed the main conclusions and recommended measures relating to the AML/CFT regime of the Republic of Tajikistan. After the completion of the procedures of the FATF in terms of the quality and compliance report will be posted on the website of the EAG.
In accordance with the procedures of the 2nd round of EAG mutual evaluations, the Republic of Tajikistan will report on progress at the 31st Plenary meeting in November 2019.
Chairman of the state control Committee of Belarus L. Anfimov addressed the participants of the Plenary week with a welcoming speech - "We highly appreciate the EAG activities and the support provided to strengthen the AML system of our state. Belarus has supported and will continue to support the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, being an active participant in the global system of countering these threats," - L. Anfimov said. He also announced the greeting of the Prime Minister of Belarus to the participants and noted that the meeting will contribute to the exchange of experience and best practices.
During the Plenary session, the delegation of the Russian Federation presented to international experts the results of the national ML/FT risk assessment, as well as changes in the national AML legislation. In May 2018, the concept of development of the national AML/CFT system was approved. Russia has adopted a national anti-corruption plan for 2019-2020, which envisages the expansion of measures to control the costs of civil servants and their property. The Federal law on the procedure of exit and entry into the Russian Federation was also amended. If the interdepartmental Commission on combating the financing of terrorism has frozen funds in respect of a foreign citizen, or the court has suspended operations on his / her bank accounts, as well as if a person participates in the financing of terrorism and extremism, he/she may be banned from entering the Russian Federation.
A typological report "Money Laundering through Insurance Companies" was presented to the participants of the Plenary meeting on typologies of money laundering through insurance companies. The initiators of this project were Russia and China. The study presents 29 examples of money laundering received from the international Association of insurance supervisors, India and China, as well as 14 typologies of money laundering identified in the insurance sector. Due to the fact that the insurance sector is developing, the analysis of the practices of the participating countries indicates a low level of risk of insurance institutions. The report was approved by the Plenary and will be posted on the EAG website.
The topic of countering the financing of terrorism continues to be the focus of the EAG. In the framework of the project for the mutual freeze of assets of persons involved in terrorist activities in the EAG member states are instructed to intensify work on the exchange of relevant lists of persons for the purposes of the application of targeted financial sanctions.
Joint international workshops allow member states and observers to discuss the most relevant issues of the AML/CFT agenda. The participants of the Plenary session of the EAG presented the results of workshops the EAG/ITMCFM on supervision and EAG/ATC CIS/Interpol/ITMCFM on interaction between law enforcement and financial intelligence services. Representatives of the EAG Secretariat and ITMCFM briefed on the joint workshop APG/EAG on typologies, which will be held in December 2018 in Novosibirsk. During the event, it is planned to discuss the topics of combating the financing of terrorism, the risks of virtual assets and combating human trafficking.
At the end of the Plenary meeting, the results of the competition for the best AML/CFT cooperation were summed up. The winner of the competition was the Republic of Tajikistan. Traditionally the winner was awarded the prize from the Fund of the First EAG Chairman and the first Director of the Russian financial intelligence unit – V. Zubkov.
During the EAG Plenary meeting and the meeting of working groups, the delegation of the International Training and Methodology Center for Financial Monitoring presented to the EAG member states and observers the projects implemented by the Center both in the territory of the Eurasian region and abroad. The objective of the ITMCFM technical assistance projects is the promotion of national AML/CFT systems in line with the FATF standards. Together with partners from the EAG member states, ITMCFM implements training programs, develops e-courses and manuals, through the International Network AML/CFT Institute conducts training of the teaching staff of national universities.
The next EAG Plenary meeting will be held in May 2019 in the Russian Federation.