Montenegro Urged to Step Up Efforts to Tackle Money-Laundering

Council of Europe conference in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo: Council of Europe.

Yngve Engstrom, head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, told the conference that the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing system in Montenegro must be improved.

"Montenegro should make sure that its financial system does not allow the circulation of dirty money and thus cause an increase in the number of committed crimes. This should be done by reviewing the legal and operational approach to financial investigations, by establishing integration between all bodies involved," said Engstrom.

The Council of Europe experts report points out that criminal sanctions for money-laundering in Montenegro are exclusively based on plea bargaining.

"They are resulting in modest sentences, which can affect the dissuasiveness and, potentially, the proportionality of the sanctions applied in these cases," the report says.

The experts report says that the authorities didn't provide statistics about the confiscation of proceeds of crime and therefore did not demonstrate whether these sanctions were effective or not. It also says that Montenegrin legislation does not allow for the implementation of financial sanctions without delays.

Montenegrin Interior Minister Sergej Sekulovic said that the authorities are working on reform of the country's anti-money laundering and terrorism financing legislation.

"There is an increased number of investigations in cases of money-laundering and more such cases are before the courts in Montenegro. Also, the ministry is working on a new Law on Prevention of Money-Laundering and Terrorist Financing," Sekulic told the conference.

The European Commission's report this year on the country's progress towards...

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