External assistance to strengthen the national AML/CFT system.

External assistance to strengthen the national AML/CFT system. The Financial Intelligence Unit’s leadership discussed new cooperation prospects with the USAID FSTA Project representatives

The progress made in the field of preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT), the objectives for the next period, as well as the potential cooperation opportunities were discussed during the Director of the Office for Prevention and Fight against Money Laundering (FIU Moldova), Daniel-Marius Staicu’s meeting with the Director of the USAID Moldova Financial Sector Transparency Activity (FSTA), Matthew Macellaro.

During the discussions, Daniel-Marius Staicu spoke about the steps taken by the authority to adjust the national AML/CFT legislation, mentioning, in this regard, the new amendments to be adopted in the near future. In this context, the USAID FSTA Project representatives informed about the support rendered for the development of a series of amendments that transpose both the MONEYVAL Committee’s recommendations and the 5th EU AML Directive’s provisions.

Also, the head of the FIU emphasized the importance of accelerating the process of developing the secondary normative framework, as well the training in the field of AML/CFT. Among the objectives mentioned by him were also the automation and digitization of surveillance and analytical processes, through the implementation of specific applications for financial intelligence units. "We have an ambitious agenda, and tight deadlines, therefore, we rely on the development partners’ assistance, who could support several initiatives to streamline the institution’s activity", he stressed.

In his turn, Matthew Macellaro listed the measures supported by the USAID FSTA Project to strengthen the national AML/CFT regime. Among them is the implementation, at the National Bank of Moldova, of a state-of-the-art IT solution for money laundering prevention and bank shareholders monitoring, as well as the development of several draft amendments, instructions, and regulations. At the same time, referring to the training programs organized for banking and non-banking financial sector professionals, the Director of the USAID FSTA Project welcomed/commended the involvement of FIU specialists as speakers and trainers during the events. "During the nearly four years of close cooperation with the Moldovan financial market key players, we managed to provide multidimensional support for strengthening AML/CFT capacities, and this experience could easily be replicated", Matthew Macellaro pointed out.

The discussions also focused on the FIU’s assistance needs in the field of institutional communication, given that the authority aims to have a more proactive approach when in comes to public communication.

The goal of the USAID FSTA Project is to assist the Government of Moldova in fighting money laundering, improving the financial sector transparency and stability, and modernizing the domestic capital market, through state-of-the-art IT solutions implementation, capacity-building support, and legal framework approximation.