IMF: Belarus learning fast in struggle with financing of terrorism

Belarus' system of contending with money laundering and the financing of terrorism shows several strengths, according to a technical commission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that has just completed a visit to Minsk under the chairmanship of Ross Delstom. In an interview with Rosbalt, Suzana Brixiova, the IMF permanent representative in Belarus, said the just completed mission was 'part of a recent IMF initiative on giving technical assistance to a number of countries on questions relating to strengthening the legal underpinnings of their struggle with money laundering and terrorist financing.'

Brixiova said the IMF mission had concluded that 'elements of the financial sector and various types of activity and professions that have been singled out in the recommendations of the Special Group on Financial Measures to Deal with Money Laundering as needing supervision and regulation already must be licensed in Belarus.' Moreover, two Belarus agencies 'already are gathering information on suspicious financial activity,' the mission found, Suzana Brixiova said.

At the same time, the mission noted that Belarus' system of dealing with money laundering and the financing of terrorism needs further strengthening. Specifically, Belarus has been asked to prepare a new draft law on measures barring the legalization of income obtained illegally, with a view to meeting the June recommendations of the Special Group. The mission also considers it necessary for Belarus to adopt a new law on the financing of terrorism.

Moreover, the mission recommended that Belarus consider it 'a priority to create a financial watchdog organization that would gather, analyze and relay its findings on this financial data to appropriate organs of government.' Finally, to assure the effective functioning of the system, the mission called for 'stronger coordination' between various agencies. 'The mission noted with satisfaction that organs of government already are working on the matter of a financial watchdog and that work on legislation on the battle with the financing of terrorism is in an early stage,' Suzana Brixiova said.

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