As the EU Twinning Project “Enhancing the System of Prevention and Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in the Republic of Moldova” has come to an end, the implementing partners together with over 20 beneficiary entities from the Republic of Moldova have taken pride in the results achieved during over 40 months of the implementation of the project activities and have shared them with the invitees at the closing event of the project held on 9 June, 2022.
The project established new and modern tools and working methodologies in line with international standards and EU practices to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorism financing in the Republic of Moldova. These achievements were realized in spite of the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the project, partners from the Moldovan, Lithuanian, Polish and German authorities worked together to develop tailor-made AML/CFT-related guidelines, policies, analytical and operational capacities and to strengthen the inter-agency cooperation. The partners also managed to improve the special databases necessary for the enforcement of the AML/CFT Law and to develop AML/CFT supervision mechanism for banking, non-banking and designated non-financial businesses and professions. Separate components were devoted to strengthening the investigation capacities of law enforcement agencies, improving the AML/CFT regime in the criminal justice system and the system for prevention of terrorism financing, including control of physical cross-border transportation of currency. The Central Project Management Agency was responsible for administrative-financial management of the EU Twinning project and worked with all Twinning partners and the EU Delegation to Moldova to ensure the smooth implementation of the project’s operational activities.
The project also enhanced collaboration among relevant entities from the partner countries. This would allow a better and swifter exchange of information that is so crucial in fighting ML/TF.
The Director of the Moldovan Office for Prevention and Fight against Money Laundering, Mr. Adrian Munteanu thanked the project implementing consortium partners, the European Union as well as the local stakeholders for their extensive efforts and support to make this project a success. The contribution of the MS experts was described as extremely valuable and of high quality, whereas the practical expertise shared by the MS counterparts during the study visits was evaluated at the highest scores.
The Deputy-Director of the Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Mindaugas Petrauskas, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the twinning project and thanked the BC counterparts for their contribution to the achievement of project results. The good cooperation and openness of the Moldovan counterparts as well as their commitment to implement the best EU practices related to AML/CFT were emphasized by Mr. Petrauskas.
The representative of the EU Delegation to Moldova as well as the other attendees of the closing event emphasized the importance of applying into practice the project outputs so as to ensure the sustainability of the results and be in line with the best EU practice, the methods and tools for preventing and fighting against money laundering and terrorist financing. The imperativeness to join efforts with other countries in order to achieve synergy in ML/TF prevention and counteraction was stressed by all the stakeholders as well as the need for assistance in narrower AML/CFT segments.
The Twinning project ‘Enhancing the System of Prevention and Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in the Republic of Moldova’ started on 24 September 2018 and was implemented during 41 months with a total allocated budget of EUR 2 million. The project was implemented by the MS partners including the Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of Interior (Lithuania), Ministry of Finance (Poland), The University for Public Administration in Bremen (Germany) and the BC partner (the main beneficiary) represented by the Office for Prevention and Fight against Money Laundering (Moldova).
The core objective of the Twinning project was to strengthen the system of prevention and combating money laundering and terrorism financing in the Republic of Moldova by implementing various measures, subdivided into seven different components, with the participation, besides the OPFML, of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Court of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, the National Bank and the Tax and Customs Service.