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90 thousand suspicious bank accounts were closed

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90 thousand suspicious bank accounts were closed

Ninety thousand suspicious bank accounts have been closed in recent years in Cyprus, due to measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

These accounts had been opened by various persons or companies-shell and it was judged by the audits of the Central Bank and the commercial banks, but also by the measures taken, that they are suspicious since both the persons hiding behind them and the routes of money raised suspicions.

At the same time, with the actions of the Government, the additional obligation was created to create a register of final beneficiaries, ie the real shareholders of the companies. It is noted that three years ago the Central Bank redefined the definitions of the so-called “shell companies” and “virtual companies”. With the introduction of the new Directive, financial institutions have included the definition of a shell company in anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing procedures with “immediate effect and application in all new business relationships”. The specific directive of the Central Bank took into account the most up-to-date and strict international interpretations, something that, according to experts, may have been an international precedent. At the same time, it is now clear which companies are shell companies and for which a possible business relationship should be avoided, adopting the practices of the 4th European Money Laundering Directive, which strengthens the implementation of risk assessment measures and decision-making based on risk profile for each customer.

As there has been a lot of talk lately about shell companies and pandora papers, a great deal of effort has been put into making Cyprus a destination of choice for foreign investors and businesses, but not being used by such companies. Cyprus' efforts to upgrade the framework for combating money laundering are also highlighted in US State Department reports. Also, as duly mentioned in “Φ”, the Central Register of Real Beneficiaries for companies and other legal entities has been created, the electronic application of which started on March 16, 2021. Competent Authority for keeping the Register is the Companies Department of the Ministry of Energy . According to the legislation, all companies and other legal entities based in Cyprus, are required to register in the Register of Real Beneficiaries, through an electronic process, all the required information of their real beneficiaries.


Source: 24h.com.cy

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