AML in Cyprus again in spotlight with Manafort indictment


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Cyprus responds to allegations of AML Compliance weakness

The U.S. indictment of Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort on money laundering and other charges has officials in Cyprus defending their AML standards.

The Manafort indictment, which may have far reaching consequences for a variety of people and institutions, identified Cyprus as one of the locations in which Manafort allegedly laundered money.

ABC News reported last week that the justice minister of Cyprus is defending his country’s practices and emphasizing its substantial improvement in AML practices. Among his assertions is that prosecution and conviction rates related to money laundering in Cyprus have risen sharply.

The CBC World desk last week also looked at the Cyprus connection to Manafort and Russian-related money laundering. Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered massive Russian money laundering in 2007 and later died in a Russian prison, disclosed the magnitude then of Russian laundering through banks in Cyprus.

Bill Browder, a U.K. hedge fund manager who employed Magnitsky and who has crusaded for justice and enforcement in Magnitsky’s memory, asserted to the CBC journalists that “Cyprus is, effectively, the money-laundering country of choice for criminals from Russia. And the reason … is because the Cypriot authorities turn a very active blind eye to the money-laundering.”

Cypriot authorities sharply reject that allegation. U.S. officials pressing the case against Paul Manafort are expected to seek further information and account details from Cypriot bankers if they haven’t already.

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