Albania needs to step up its efforts to fight money laundering, according to a new report by the Council of Europe anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL. It calls on Albanian authorities to do more in terms of pursuing launderers and confiscating their assets connected to significant proceeds-generating offences and tackling terrorist financing related risks.

The report, published on December 19, makes comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of Albania’s anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing system and its level of compliance with the FATF Recommendations.

Based on the results of its evaluation, MONEYVAL decided to apply its enhanced follow-up procedure to Albania.

According to the report, corruption poses major money laundering risks in Albania. Often linked to organised crime activities, it generates substantial amounts of criminal proceeds and seriously undermines the effective functioning of the criminal justice system.

The report also notes that even though Albania has a robust legal framework for confiscation of criminal proceeds, the number and values of seized and confiscated assets do not seem to be commensurate to the level of the criminality in the country.

About terrorist financing, MONEYVAL warns there is no systematic approach to identify and investigate financing aspects of terrorism-related offences.

Finally, the report notes that Albania has reportedly provided mutual legal assistance with an appropriate level of cooperation. However, the general legal mechanism for executing foreign mutual legal assistance requests has some deficiencies which may undermine their effectiveness.

The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) is a monitoring body of the Council of Europe entrusted with the task of assessing compliance with the principal international standards to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the effectiveness of their implementation, as well as with the task of making recommendations to national authorities in respect of necessary improvements to their systems.