The Council of Europe in cooperation with the Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia (FMS - Financial Intelligence Unit of Georgia) organised a two-day online training on “Anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance for currency exchange bureaus”.
The activity raised the awareness of 30 representatives of currency exchange bureaus, as obliged entities defined under the anti-money laundering (AML) law of Georgia, on financial crime and current AML/CFT requirements, including the Risk Based Approach (RBA), measures for identification and verification of customers, indicators for suspicious activities and reporting suspicions to the FMS. In addition to the private sector representatives, participants in the meeting also included representatives of the FMS and the National Bank of Georgia, as the supervisory/regulatory institution of the currency exchange sector, and the Association of Currency Exchange Bureaus of Georgia.
During the meeting, participants discussed the impact of financial crime and global efforts against it, AML/CFT international standards and best practices, measures for ensuring AML/CFT compliance by currency exchange bureaus, and case studies from the experience of Bulgaria and other countries tailored to the Georgian context. The FMS representative analysed the Georgian AML/CFT legal framework adopted in 2019 as well as the money laundering/financing of terrorism risks to which currency exchange bureaus are exposed according to the National Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Risk Assessment of Georgia (2019).
In addition to the interactive presentations, participants split into smaller groups to discuss specific questions and practice their new learnings on real cases presenting different stages of money laundering. They worked to identify financial crime risks they might be faced with in Georgia, and measures to efficiently contribute to the fight against financial crime at their level in their business. The results of group discussions were shared and analysed with other participants and Council of Europe experts.
This training is part of a series of activities designed to support more effective and efficient compliance of Georgian financial institutions with international AML/CFT requirements.
The activity was organised in the framework of the project “Enhancing the systems of prevention and combating corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing in Georgia”, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II.