CB denies reports that officials are involved in money-laundering scams

05.11.2009 09:42
CB denies reports that officials are involved in money-laundering scams

YEREVAN, November 5, /ARKA/. Armenia’s Central Bank denied today media reports claiming that some high-level government officials were involved in money-laundering scams. The Central Bank said in a statement that its Center for Financial Monitoring, empowered to fight money-laundering and financing of terrorism, collects and analyzes on a daily basis all related information.

On October 29 Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian said government officials, accused by a parliament member of money laundering, must give public explanations. According to the prime minister, in an interview to an Armenian newspaper, ‘168 Zham’ (168 Hours), a non-partisan parliament member Viktor Dalakian said he knows that some government officials are engaged in money-laundering operations.
“This is a signal to prosecutors and the Central Bank to give public explanations to Viktor Dalakian’s statement,’ Tigran Sarkisian said, adding that Dalakian’s statement is ‘a serious signal for the government to step up its efforts for revealing money-laundering instances.

‘Over the last four years, since its inception, the Center for Financial Monitoring that receives information from law-enforcement agencies, other government bodies with controlling powers, as well as from its foreign partners about suspicious transactions, has never received any report that high-level Armenian government officials were involved in money laundering operations,’ the statement said.

“The Center for Financial Monitoring is a member of an international organization dealing with financial intelligence and has a database about involvement of senior officials of different foreign governments in various crimes. It investigates very carefully all information about high-ranking Armenian government officials,’ the statement said adding that the Center for Financial Monitoring did not receive information about the involvement of Armenian officials in money laundering scams.

The Center for Financial Monitoring has to report on its activity to the Central Bank Council and a special Inter-Agency Commission on Money Laundering. Its annual reports are posted on its official website and are disseminated also to media.

The Central Bank stressed also that the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (MONEYVAL) approved recently the report on the third stage of measures to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism in Armenia, noting a substantial progress recorded in anti-money laundering measures within financial, law enforcement and legal systems. The Committee’s report pointed out improved efficiency of preventive measures, which means that the largest part of respective international standards are introduced in the country. M.M. -0-

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