6th October 2020, Skopje – “The usage of virtual assets as representations of value known as “cryptocurrencies” will be governed by law. At present, Ministry of Finance together with the Financial Intelligence Office, as well as the financial regulators and the supervisors work on determining all aspects arising from this phenomena. Solutions will be implemented in the new Law on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism” – Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi pointed out during the event organized at the occasion of marking the launch of the Project ”Capacity Building for the Financial Intelligence Office of the Republic of North Macedonia” – funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

This is of special significance since if they are not governed by law, if their legal status, the purpose for their usage, the manner of their transfer and disposal is not determined, and in case we do not have insight into who buys and sells the cryptocurrencies, they will be easily abused, especially for the purpose of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Minister of Finance underlined that the continuous progress in the fight against money laundering has also been noted in the reports of the renowned Basel Institute on Governance, wherein on the basis of Basel anti money laundering index, Republic of North Macedonia was ranked among the countries with low risk of money laundering.

At the moment, registry of beneficial owners will be established within the Central Registry, which would allow to the state bodies, the banks and all entities obliged to apply the measures and actions for preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism to be familiar with the true identity of the owners of the companies in a simple manner and at any time. Such registry will provide for greater transparency in the overall economy, thus contributing to increased safety during the legal transactions.

The event was also addressed by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to North Macedonia, Dirk Jan Kop, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Office, Blazo Trendafilov and Sefer Selimi, the Director of “Democracy Lab”, being the Implementing Agency of the Project ”Capacity Building for the Financial Intelligence Office of the Republic of North Macedonia”. 

Director of the Financial Intelligence Office, Trendafilov expressed gratitude to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and “Democracy Lab” for the support they extend to our country aimed at improving the system for money laundering and financing of terrorism.

 “I believe that the implementation of this Project will contribute to improving the overall system and everything that means fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, especially as regards ​​effective and efficient implementation of the international restrictive measures, being important obligations arising frim the international standards” – Trendafilov pointed out.

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