Azerbaijan expands int’l co-op against terrorism financing#

By: Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan is expanding cooperation with Turkey, Russia and Macedonia in combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering.

The relevant agreements were approved by presidential decrees.

In accordance with the agreements, Azerbaijan will cooperate with Turkey and Macedonia in the field of exchange of financial information, and with Russia in combating against terrorism financing and money laundering.

The agreement between the Financial Monitoring Service under the Central Bank of Azerbaijan and the Board of Financial Crimes Investigation of Turkey was signed in January 2015 in Ankara.

The agreements between the Financial Monitoring Service under the CBA and the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring of Russia, as well as the Financial Intelligence Agency of Macedonia were signed in Strasbourg, on April 6 and April 14, 2015, respectively.

According to the presidential decrees, the Financial Monitoring Service under the CBA is instructed to ensure the implementation of the terms of the signed agreements.

Also, the Foreign Ministry should notify the government of Turkey, Russia and Macedonia on the implementation of the necessary procedures which will be taken to bring the agreements into force.

Modern challenges such as combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering stand high for Azerbaijan to strengthen its efforts against them.

In this regard, the government has taken measures on a domestic level, as well as contributed to international endeavors through the involvement in multilateral and bilateral cooperation to combat various illegal activities.

The Financial Monitoring Service was established within FATF in accordance with President Ilham Aliyev’s decree dated February 23, 2009.

The monitoring covers credit institutions, insurance and reinsurance organizations, the professional securities market, leasing services of credit institutions, money transfers through post offices and other organizations, pawn shops, investment funds, transactions with precious metals and stones and purchase products, non-governmental and religious organizations, lotteries, and providing real estate services.

Azerbaijan has acceded to the European Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime of 1990, the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism of 1977.

Following the ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the government made necessary amendments to the Criminal Code.

Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the Council of Europe Select Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-money Laundering Measures (MoneyVal), and applies the universally recognized 40+8 FATF Recommendations throughout its financial system.

The joint OSCE-UNODC National Workshop on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism held in Baku on March 27-28, 2003 gave an additional impetus to the development of anti-money laundering policy on a national level as well.