The Conference of the Parties of the Warsaw Convention, responsible for monitoring the implementation of the treaty, has published a report assessing the way its states parties monitor banking operations to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The report concludes that the majority of states parties – although with significant differences - apply articles 7(2c) and 19(1) of the convention, which provide a specific tool to competent authorities to monitor, during a specified period, the banking operations that are being carried out through one or more identified accounts.
The report also issues a number of general and country specific recommendations, inviting states parties to ensure their implementation in practice.
Overall, the monitoring of banking operations is a practice which increases the effectiveness of investigations of money laundering, financing of terrorism and other serious crimes.
Opened for signature in Warsaw in 2005, the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (CETS no. 198) is, at the moment, in force in 37 Council of Europe member states. Another six countries have signed it but not yet ratified it.
It is the first international treaty covering both the prevention and the control of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The text addresses the fact that quick access to financial information or information on assets held by criminal organisations, including terrorist groups, is the key to successful preventive and repressive measures, and, ultimately, is the best way to stop them.
The Conference of the Parties established by the treaty monitors its implementation by carrying out thematic reviews in which all parties are assessed at the same time on a particular article of the convention.