The Committee of Experts of the Council of Europe on the Evaluation of Measures to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (MONEYVAL; MONEYVAL) published its regular annual report in May 2022, which focused on the overall performance of countries under extended monitoring.
This group includes, among others, Albania. MONEYVAL experts emphasized that there were only minor improvements compared to the previous reporting period. According to the authors of the document, the authorities of the Balkan country have not achieved a significant improvement in measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in accordance with the FATF recommendations.
Albania was included in MONEYVAL in 2011 in the "grey list" of countries with a high risk of money laundering, which are subject to enhanced follow-up control or monitoring. Then, in 2015, the Balkan country achieved an exclusion from the “grey list”, but after 5 years it was again due to “strategic shortcomings” that were discovered by experts.
One of the sectors of the Albanian economy most exposed to the risk of money laundering, according to experts, is real estate transactions. In an effort to expedite the exclusion of their home country from the "grey list", the Albanian authorities announced a tightening of controls on local real estate agencies.
The authorities have prepared 8 orders and 1 instruction that allow you to regulate and control the real estate services market. The process of licensing, ethical and disciplinary control will be subject to delegation to independent international organizations carrying out similar activities in Albania.
One of the main innovations is the creation of the Disciplinary Commission to evaluate the actions of agents. The Commission will conduct investigations regarding the actions or inaction of the realtor, in respect of which there are reasonable suspicions of violating the law or providing professional services of inadequate quality, contrary to applicable law or the Code of Professional Ethics.
Agencies will additionally be subject to regular checks for the risk of money laundering by the Ministry of Justice. The audit will be carried out in two stages, during which various aspects of the activities of real estate intermediaries will be checked, including their professional activities (intermediary activities, collection of fees, etc.), record keeping (HR management, tax and professional obligations, etc.). .), implementation of internal regulations for the control of the risk of money laundering, data collection and analysis systems.
Based on materials from acp.al (https://acp.al/…/Rreziku-i-pastrimit-te-parave…/ and https://acp.al/…/Moneyval:-Shqiperia-asnje-permiresim…/)