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Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS)

Powers and Functions

The FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) is the national center for receiving, requesting, analyzing and disseminating disclosures of suspicious transactions reports and other relevant information concerning suspected money laundering or financing of terrorism activities. The Unit, inter alia, has the following powers:

It cooperates and exchanges information with other FIUs
Issues guidance directives and provides training to financial institutions, the Police, professionals and others
Issues administrative orders for the postponement of transactions
Members of the Unit can apply and obtain court orders, ie, disclosure orders, freezing orders, confiscation orders
Protect the privacy of the information it possesses

The Law provides for a mandatory reporting of suspicious transactions to MOKAS and the obligation to take the appropriate preventive measures (e.g. identification of customers, record keeping, mandatory reporting) applied to all persons who are engaged in financial business, including lawyers and accountants. The Unit may apply to the Court to obtain freezing, confiscation and disclosure orders. In addition, the Unit is also engaged in policy issues in the area of anti-money laundering measures as well as in various awareness raising and training initiatives on the subject, involving both the public and the private sector. There is close co-operation between the credit and other financial institutions on the one hand and the Unit on the other, based on the relevant provisions of the Law as well as on guidance notes issued by the supervisory authorities of the financial institutions.

The Unit for Combating money Laundering (MOKAS) has been designated by the Council of Ministers on 18 March 2009, as the Asset Recovery Office (ARO) for the purposes of implementing the Council Decision 2007/845/JHA of 6 December 2007 concerning cooperation between Asset Recovery Offices of the Member States in the field of tracing and identification of proceeds from, or other property related, to crime.



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