Relatively high level of risk of money laundering and terrorist financing (report) | Tunisia News Gazette

Relatively high level of risk of money laundering and terrorist financing (report)

The level of risk in Tunisia is “relatively high” in a list of threats, the most important of which are corruption, tax evasion and customs and cyber crimes like financial accounts takeover fraud and bank cards fraud, whose financial revenues “represent the highest risks” of money laundering and terrorist financing, according to the report on the National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism “, a summary of which was published on Saturday by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT).

Dinar and foreign exchange payments, non-resident international trade associations and companies, the land sector and the gold sector are all high-risk mechanisms and sectors that can be used in money laundering offences and financing of terrorism, said the report commissioned by the Prime Ministry in 2014 and carried out by the Tunisian Committee of Financial Analysis (CTAF), in collaboration with the Ministries of Interior and Defense.

The report points to a number of high-risk countries in these areas, given their geopolitical location in the region and highlights the “big risks” that the banking sector faces in money laundering and financingTerrorism, which requires banks to strengthen their human resources charged with monitoring compliance, design training programs and acquire the appropriate means and software to deal with these risks.

The results of this report are the outcome of a strategic analysis of more than 460 money laundering and terrorist financing cases submitted to the courts, 2000 bank accounts and thousands of banking transactions (deposit, withdrawal and transfer) ) with an overall value of around 10 billion dinars.

The report is also based on the collection of thousands of financial, security and legal data and statistics, as well as the counting of more than 160 questionnaires.

Conducted by CTAF executives, judges and security and customs officials, the national assessment process covered more than 150 parts of the public and private sectors and mobilised over 500 executives for the analysis of 16 thousand cash payment declarations.

This analysis is part of Tunisia’s international commitments, in particular the first recommendation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which requires countries to understand, identify and evaluate risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism and the adoption of methodology based on the definition of risks and the orientation of State resources towards high-risk sectors and occupations.

Thus, despite the legal and regulatory arsenal available to the country, this assessment highlights weaknesses in the understanding of employees in different sectors, the risks of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and the lack of effectiveness of control measures and practices, in addition to the delay in the application of the administrative sanctions decided by the supervisory and regulatory bodies.

The report highlights the weak coordination between the various actors at the national level and the weak analytical capacity of some parties with regard to financial crimes.

It pointed out the lack of financial control over financial and non-financial institutions, such as the Tunisian Post, property developers and jewelers, of a control unit responsible for monitoring the anti-money laundering system and the financing of terrorism and highlights the failure of the system of analysis of statistical data on crimes as well as the slowness in the prosecution of perpetrators of crimes in this area.

Source: TAP News Agency

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