The Legal Issues Committee considered amendments to the Law on Facilitating Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism in the first and expedited reading.
Valerian Khasashvili, Head of the Financial Monitoring Service notes that as the bill implies, the National Risk Assessment Report and Action Plan should be updated as needed, but not less than once every three years, instead of every two years.
The changes will also encompass the issue of clearly defining powers for oversight bodies.
Oversight bodies will have a clear legal basis for obtaining the rules for electronically identifying and confirming the client, identifying and verifying the beneficial owner, and researching the client’s ownership and control structure, among other things.
The document proposes increasing the list of agencies to which the Financial Monitoring Service can transmit suspicious transaction intelligence.
The number of organizations that can request information from the Financial Monitoring Service will grow.
The offenses for which the authority to request information will be enlarged as well.
Valerian Khasashvili notes that the purpose of the changes is to reflect the recommendations given by the Council of Europe in the legislation.
Anri Okhanashvili, Chairman of the Committee adds that issues related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorism are very important.
“International partners’ and international organizations’ recommendations are, of course, important. We consider their suggestions, assess them, and take action as needed. Within its jurisdiction, the Financial Monitoring Service is directly involved in this process. We have advocated expedited examination of the document since these flaws were found, as addressing or improving gaps in the legislation will lead to better execution of the recommendations,” Okhanashvili stated.
The bill is initiated by the Government of Georgia.