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Government notes US views on money laundering effort in Cyprus
2005-03-07 12:12:56

Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has noted US evaluation of efforts by the Cypriot government to combat money laundering, saying Nicosia responds to its international obligations on this matter.

He also said that the US has adopted a different approach with regard to Cyprus on curtailing money laundering and on respect of human rights, as these are outlined in the 2004 State Department relevant reports.

''It is considered that the Republic has taken all the necessary measures and that it has fulfilled all its obligations and continues to exercise control on money laundering issues,'' he said.

On the contrary, he added, the casino operating in the Turkish occupied north, the banking system and the financial institutions are ''actual bodies where money laundering can be promoted.''

Responding to questions, he said that the government does not question Washington's right to prepare reports but it does question the content of the report on human rights in Cyprus which it considers ''unfair.''

''Each state has the right to do what it considers correct. What we are asking is an objective examination of the facts and correct information disseminated to the US as well on the basis of objective and actual data,'' the spokesman added.

The US report said that the government of the Republic of Cyprus has put in place a comprehensive anti-money laundering regime but should continue to take steps to tighten implementation of its laws.

The report adds that although casinos, Internet gaming sites, and bearer shares are not permitted in the government-controlled area of Cyprus, the areas under Turkish occupation present a different picture, with 22 essentially unregulated, and primarily Turkish-mainland owned, casinos being the primary vehicles through which money laundering occurs.

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