Monday, October 26, 2020

Money laundering watchdog warns Turkey over shortcomings

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Turkey – Turkish authorities must address shortcomings in tackling money laundering and terrorism financing or face being added to a “gray list” of countries with inadequate financial controls, according to a global money laundering watchdog.

In a report issued on Monday, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) highlighted gaps in Turkey’s efforts to prevent financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Out of 11 areas evaluated, Turkey was deemed to require major or fundamental improvements in nine. The report’s findings mean Ankara will be put under observation for a year, and could be added to the gray list if it does not make improvements.

The watchdog said Turkey should make “fundamental improvements in measures for freezing assets linked to terrorism, terrorist organizations and financiers”.

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Turkey had a low rate of conviction for terrorism financing, the report said, pointing to data it said was provided by authorities showing more than 6,000 people were prosecuted in 2017 but only 115 convicted.

Ankara should also improve efforts to prevent “the raising, moving and using of funds for weapons of mass destruction”, the report said, adding that Turkey was slow in following up U.N. Security Council resolutions relating to Iran and North Korea.

Turkey says it abides by all international laws and United Nations resolutions.

The report also called on Turkey to strengthen its use of financial intelligence in money laundering cases and develop a national strategy for investigating and prosecuting different types of money laundering.

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