Nicola Sharp, of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli, believes more needs to be done in the republic and elsewhere in Europe.
The Czech Republic has improved its attempts to combat money laundering but still needs to do more.
In a report, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL has concluded that the Czech Republic has enhanced its mechanisms for national co-operation and co-ordination to tackle money laundering. It has also strengthened its measures against countries that pose a high money laundering risk, taken steps to ensure greater transparency in bank-to-bank transactions and made progress meeting international requirements regarding virtual assets.
But MONEYVAL’s report states that the Czech Republic has not done enough regarding the use of financial sanctions related to terrorism or mechanisms to track the movement of cash across borders.
Since 2018, the Czech Republic has had to report to MONEYVAL at intervals, due to weaknesses that were identified in the country’s money laundering efforts. MONEYVAL’s latest report followed scrutiny of legal, regulatory and other measures introduced by the Czech Republic to tackle the weaknesses.
Since the implementation of the European Union’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), countries in Europe have been working to tighten their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures to comply with it.
But some countries have been more rigorous than others in their approach. For instance, the UK has gone further than some of the EU’s requirements, while some other states regularly require enhanced review by the Council of Europe due to their lack of progress. While it appears that the Czech Republic’s efforts to introduce stricter measures to deal with money laundering have been recognised, the country will have to refocus on money laundering’s all-too-often overlooked companion, terrorist financing.
It is now 16 years since the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), published 40 recommendations for tackling money laundering. The Czech Republic is one of a number of countries that have found it difficult to meet FATF’s expectations. There is clearly a lot of work to do before Europe becomes a robust, cohesive force in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.