In a new report the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL draws up a comprehensive assessment of the country’s level of compliance with the Recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as at the date of the onsite visit in September 2021. It calls on Bulgaria’s authorities to improve the regulatory framework and to strengthen the practical application of measures to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism.
MONEYVAL says that Bulgaria achieved a moderate level of effectiveness regarding the assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks, and domestic coordination, investigation and prosecution of terrorism financing, targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism financing, the implementation of preventive measures by and supervision of financial institutions and non-financial professions (accountants, lawyers, notaries, trusts and company service providers, casinos and real estate agents), as well as in international cooperation. Bulgaria demonstrates a low level of effectiveness in areas related to the use of financial intelligence, investigations and prosecutions of money laundering, confiscation of proceeds of crime or property of equivalent value, targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation financing and the prevention of misuse of legal persons and arrangements.
MONEYVAL commends Bulgaria for conducting a comprehensive national risk assessment and notes that Bulgaria has, in general, a reasonable understanding of the main money laundering risks, while the understanding of the terrorism financing risks is limited. The report finds that the lack of comprehensive statistics limits the authorities’ understanding and their abilities to react to risks. Challenges exist also in relation to inter-agency co-operation between law enforcement agencies, which is particularly hindered by the lack of necessary technical tools.
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