Draft Law to Combat Money Laundering Under Discussion

North Cyprus News - Apartment Building - Yeni Iskele

Wednesday, 22 November 2023

A law to combat money laundering, which is said to be on the rise in North Cyprus, is being discussed by a parliamentary committee, Yeniduzen reports.

There have been allegations that sales of immovable property for the purpose of money laundering are on the rise in North Cyprus. An article published in the UK newspaper, the Guardian, said that North Cyprus had turned into a “laundering paradise”.

Relevant actors speaking to Yeniduzen regarding the allegations in question underlined that it was important to distinguish between a real investor and a “money launderer”. It was pointed out that the Central Bank had the power to monitor transactions and the relevant draft law was at the committee stage in parliament.

President of the Turkish Cypriot Construction Contractors Association, Cafer Gürcafer, said that the Central Bank should act as soon as possible. “There should not be a mistake in which we will be excluded from international money transfers, this would be very bad for the country“, he said.

Noting that there is a draft law on this subject in parliament, Gürcafer stated that the current law cannot not keep up with the times and that this is why there are problems.

Former Minister of Internal Affairs Ayşegül Baybars, said that another issue is the lack of control of who enters the country. Additionally, there is no proper monitoring system in the real estate sector and in other areas, she said.

Speaking for the estate agents, Board Member of the Association of Realtors, Hüseyin Sadeghi, said that every country needs foreign investors and emphasised that the real investor should be distinguished from the money launderer.

Meanwhile, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) representative for Lefke Salahi Şahiner, who sits on the Parliamentary committee where the “Bill on Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime” is being discussed, emphasised that the said law will combat money laundering.

Şahiner noted that sectors where large quantities of money circulate, such as banks, financial institutions, cryptocurrency issuers, service providers, jewellers and auto dealerships, will be obliged to fulfil the obligations stipulated by the law.


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