The European Commission on Friday sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus for failing to transpose the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into national law.
The transposition deadline for the directive elapsed on January 10, 2020 and, to date, the Commission said it has not been notified by Cypriot authorities of any transposition measure.
The Commission said legal loopholes in one member state affect Europe as a whole, stressing that “combating money laundering and terrorism financing is crucial to ensuring financial stability and security in Europe.”
“The fight against money laundering is as important now as before the coronavirus pandemic,” the Commission said, adding that “in fact, coronavirus-related crime (such tax evasion) and the laundering of its proceeds is on the rise, according to Europol and national law enforcement authorities.”
Ensuring the timely and correct transposition of the existing AML rules is one of the actions envisaged by the Commission in its six-point Action Plan published on May 7, 2020, the Commission said.
Without a satisfactory response from Cyprus within the next two months, the Commission said it may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.