UNODC and Agency for Financial Monitoring of Kazakhstan discuss new two-year plan under Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism project

A new working plan for 2021-2023 has been discussed and adopted for the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) project at a high-level coordination meeting between UNODC, the Agency for Financial Monitoring under the Kazakh President, the Prosecutor-General's Office, the Agency for Combatting Corruption, the Agency for Regulating and Developing the Financial Market and the Law-Enforcement Academy under the Prosecutor-General's Office in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan.

The coordination meeting discussed in detail areas of joint interventions in strengthening Kazakhstan's capacity to counter new challenges and threats in transnational crime related to money laundering and financing terrorism in the next two years. The new working plan envisages UNODC assistance in developing and implementing institutional framework for technical support as well as developing international cooperation of national partners in AML/CFT. This work will be carried out in cooperation with the Agency for Financial Monitoring of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which coordinates the work of state bodies in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

"Today's meeting is important for Agency for Financial Monitoring and UNODC in the run-up of the mutual assessment of the Eurasian group. By November 2022, Kazakhstan will have to undergo the second round of mutual assessment by the Eurasian group (EAG) on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism for compliance with Financial Action Task Force standards, in which over 20 state bodies and financial monitoring entities in Kazakhstan will be in involved. Our task is to successfully undergo the EAG mutual assessment," said at the meeting First Deputy Chair of the Agency for Financial Monitoring Yermek Ospanov.

Under the new working plan, capacity of competent bodies will be enhanced on revealing and eliminating financial flows from illegal drugs trafficking, carrying out parallel financial investigations, taking into account the country's legislation.

"It is a timely opportunity to discuss how we can work together better and better protect people from crime and threats. We have seen that the pandemic has elevated risks, and criminals are taking the advantage the vulnerabilities of people to exploit and make profits. The prevention of economic crimes and implementation of robust anti-money laundering and countering financing terrorism measures have been integrated in the UN system response to the pandemic and related economic downturns are to be addressed," UNODC Regional Representative to Central Asia Ashita Mittal said at the meeting.

UNODC and the partners also discussed joint measures on enhancing capacity of the competent authorities of Kazakhstan in implementation of Financial Action Task Force recommendations.

"It is clear that combatting money laundering and countering financing of terrorism is the way to support the wider SDGs agenda. It is stealing from the government ability to support the sustainable development for the people, to build hospitals, finance schools, to support the government and people and respect the social contract that the government has signed with the population. This is state building in its real work" UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey told the meeting.

At the meeting, it was announced that additional funding from the US Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to implement the project had been received.

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