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ON THE RESULTS OF THE 22ND EAG PLENARY MEETING

Tadzhiyakov B.Z.

the Chairman of the Financial Monitoring

Committee,

Ministry of Finance,

the Republic of Kazakhstan

 

ON THE RESULTS OF THE 22ND EAG PLENARY MEETING

       The Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) had its 22nd Plenary meeting in Tashkent (Republic of Uzbekistan); it was attended by representatives of the Financial Monitoring Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Finance, the RK National Bank and National Security Committee.

      The event was attended by delegation of EAG member-states: Belarus, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,  Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of the EAG observer states and organizations: Italy, Poland, the USA, Turkey, Montenegro, France, the FATF, the MENAFATF, the “Egmont” group, the Anti-Terrorist Center of the Commonwealth of Independent States (ATC CIS), the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as well as representatives of Iran, which were invited by the Plenary.

       Within the framework of the EAG Plenary week, EAG working groups had their meetings on May 18-19: the Working Group on Mutual Evaluations and Legal Issues (WGEL) the Working Group on Typologies (WGTYP), the Working Group on combating the financing of drug trafficking, crime and terrorism (WGCF), the Working Group on Risk and Supervision (WGRS).

      On May 20, 2015 a consultative meeting of the EAG Member States representatives with the EAG Chairman Ajay Tyagi (Republic of India) was held.

     On May 21-22 the EAG Plenary was held. The EAG Chairman Mr. Ajay Tyagi chaired the Plenary Session.

    The welcoming speech on behalf of the Republic of Uzbekistan addressed to the participants of the meeting was delivered by the Prosecutor General of the Republic Ihtier Bahtierovich Abdullayev:

     “One of the keys to the EAG successful work is ability to find common ground for any difficult issues while respecting the interests of all states –members of the Group. Besides, I’m sure: without dwelling on the results achieved, the EAG will effectively continue its efforts to assist the implementation of international standards of combating money laundering and terrorist financing in the national legislations. For my part, I want to note that the Department of Uzbekistan Prosecutor General’s Office as a specially authorized state body of our country on the combating money laundering and terrorist financing works at the implementation of the new FATF Recommendations requirements, organization of the national risk evaluation, further expansion and strengthening of the international cooperation. We are always open to dialogue and ready to cooperate with our partners in other countries.”

      The Deputy Finance Minister of India Rajiv Mehrishi spoke about the EAG achievements during the Indian Chairmanship (November 2013- November 2015) noting in particular the increase in the number of assessors as a result of seminars in Moscow and New Delhi and strengthening of the EAG Secretariat.

      The Plenary approved documents reviewed and tested by the working groups: the EAG Strategic Plan foe 2015-2018, Annual report of EAG for 2014, EAG Calendar for the second half of 2015, the Action plan of the Working Group on Mutual Evaluations and Legal Issues (WGEL), as well as WGEL and WGTYP mandates.

      The Plenary urges the member-states to intensify the efforts to combat the financing of the terrorist organization ISIL, as well as rapid implementation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

      The Plenary meeting discussed application for observer status of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Plenary has decided to provide assistance of the EAG to Iran of necessary and approved future involvement of Iran in the Plenary sessions as a specially invited participant.

      The Plenary has withdrawn from the EAG observers list the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC), due to its liquidation since January 1, 2015.

     The Financial Monitoring Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Finance provided information on the program of voluntary compliance with tax laws implementation in Kazakhstan.

      An earlier analysis of the EAG Secretariat did not reveal violations of the FATF four basic principles in the process of the program of voluntary tax compliance implementation.

      The EAG Secretariat was instructed to continue monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan and analyze all provided additional information with the periodic hearing of Kazakhstan at next EAG plenaries.

      The Financial Monitoring Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Finance will work closely with the EAG Secretariat till the completion of the assets amnesty program in Kazakhstan timely providing additional information on the matter and informing FATF about the situation through the EAG Secretariat.

      In addition, the Financial Monitoring Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Finance provided the Plenary with information on the following issues:

  • changes in the national legislation in the sphere of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (CML/FT) and preparation for the second round of mutual evaluations;
  • conducting national risk assessment and the methodology used for it;
  • current and planned participation of Kazakhstan in the FATF activities.

     Particular attention of the Plenary was paid to the importance of outreach to the private sector in the preparation of the second round of evaluations.

     The Plenary considered the fifth report on the Republic of Belarus progress concerning its removal from the EAG monitoring procedures.

     Despite the fact that the Plenary noted the progress made by the Republic of Belarus on key and core recommendation R.5, R.10, R.13, R.23, SR.II. ST.IV, as well as on a number of other FATF standards, its progress was not recognized to be sufficient for removing it from monitoring.

    In this connection, intensified monitoring regime was applied to the republic of Belarus and it was tasked to continue addressing the shortcomings according to the recommendations.

    The next 23rd EAG Plenary Meeting will take place in November 2015, in Moscow, Russian Federation. Kazakhstan will provide the third progress report for the removal from the EAG monitoring procedures.  

     In this connection, a large-scale work is needed for the adoption of all measures necessary for the successful defense of the progress report by Kazakhstan. First of all, it is timely enactment of the CML/FT law, which is currently in the Parliament of the country. Preparation of the Report together with government and law enforcement authorities by 20 July of the current year and its worth end at the EAG November meeting will result in expected withdrawal of Kazakhstan from the standard EAG monitoring.

     The next step is preparation for the second round of mutual evaluations, which will begin in 2016, where the main criterion is performance of all interested public, law enforcement and government bodies according to the new international standards.

    In addition, in the first half of 2016 preparation for the 24th EAG Plenary meeting in Kazakhstan will be carried out.

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