1st October 2021, Skopje – Organized crime, criminals and criminal groups know no borders, therefore, regional and international cooperation is most important in coping with the national and the regional challenges, given that our country and the region are not excluded from the international criminal trends, as well as the new trends in the field of crime.
This was pointed out by Deputy Minster of Finance, Dimitar Kovachevski today, at the opening of the 2-day Regional Conference covering the topic “Organized Crime, Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism”, organized by the Financial Intelligence Office within the Project “Capacity Building for the Financial Intelligence Office of the Republic of North Macedonia”, financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Skopje, being implemented by the Association for Democratic Advancement – Democracy Lab.
He stated that the joint progress in the region is of particular importance for the shortcomings is regards the international cooperation not to be abused by criminals as an advantage in realizing their criminal goals and interests, and that conferences like this are important wherein good practices and experiences can be exchanged, and the issues they face may be shared, all to the end of being able to jointly respond to the new forms used by these criminal groups by applying the new technologies.
-Fight against organized crime, including the money laundering as one of the most sophisticated forms is a top priority of the Government and the competent authorities. Republic of North Macedonia is creating the system for prevention of money laundering and financing terrorism by implementing the international standards on preventing money laundering and financing terrorism, thereby undertaking a number of initiatives for their fast and efficient implementation as soon as possible. The most significant activities that were and are currently being implemented are the risk assessment activities related to virtual assets better known to the public as crypto currencies and the analyses of the approach to their regulation, as well as the Report on Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment through non-profit organizations, in which inclusive process, large number of representatives from the sector itself took part, Deputy Minister said.
By stressing that money laundering and terrorism financing cause substantial economic and social consequences, their prevention is of crucial importance.
-Every stakeholder, i.e. the entire financial sector is significant in this process of their prevention, while the support from the NGOs, is also necessary. Considering that the financial intelligence offices are especially important in the systems for detection of illegal financial flows and having in mind the possibility for fast and efficient exchange of intelligence data through the EGMONT community, their continuous development, as well as the strengthening of their capacities in every aspect is of particular importance, Kovachevski said.
He indicated that it is important that the Republic of North Macedonia is among the 15 countries with the lowest risk of money laundering and financing terrorism thanks to the systemic efforts and activities being taken, according to the so-called AML Index, being published by the renowned “Basel Institute on Governance”, which is particularly credible in the field of research related to money laundering and financing terrorism.
Conference was also addressed by Deputy Prime Minister for Fight against Corruption and Crime Ljupco Nikolovski and the Director of the Financial Intelligence Office Blazho Trendafilov, as well as by representatives of the financial intelligence units, the banking sector and the NGOs in our country, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.