Overview of AML in Azerbaijan
Money laundering is an important local and international issue being tackled. Money laundering activities are quite disturbing for Azerbaijan, and like in other countries, a number of measures are being taken to launder money in Azerbaijan. The economy of Azerbaijan, which has a lot of natural resources at the crossroads of Europe and Central Asia, is growing rapidly. The illegal drug trade, producing illegal funds, theft, robbery, tax evasion, human trafficking are some of the crimes that have been growing in recent years. Corruption is endemic in the country, and there are organized crime groups in the country. Azerbaijani authorities believe that money laundering and terrorist financing is largely through the banking sector.
Azerbaijan is not included in the list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Countries identified as having strategic AML deficiencies. Azerbaijan is Partially Compliant with FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations. It has not previously been on FATF's blacklist. There are no international sanctions against Azerbaijan. In addition, Azerbaijan was received from the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (MONEYVAL) on 12 December. Moneyval is the monitoring body of the Council of Europe and is responsible for reporting to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Azerbaijan agreements with other countries on money laundering:
• The Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Republic of terrorism in Turkey, an agreement on cooperation in combating organized crime and other serious crimes.
• Memorandum of Understanding and terrorist financing for cooperation between the Financial Markets Supervisory Authority of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Financial Monitoring Department under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the fight against the legalization of funds obtained or other property.
AML Regulators in Azerbaijan
As in every country, there are institutions that regulate money laundering laws in Azerbaijan. Institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies, the Ministry of Justice, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Tax, the Department of the Anti-Corruption in Chief Prosecutor's Office, the State Customs Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chamber of Auditors, the Ministry of National Security, the Union of Bar Associations.
Some of the functions of the Anti-Corruption Commission are as follows; Participating in the formulation of state policy in the field of anti-corruption, coordinating the activities of state organs and other bodies in this area, analyzing the situation and effectiveness of the fight, Giving control over the implementation of Anti-Corruption, State Anti-Corruption Programs.
Changes to Improve AML Systems in Azerbaijan
There were some difficulties in complying with the AML regulations in Azerbaijan, for example, the lack of effective criminal enforcement of money laundering, insufficient control over post offices, and the lack of a small business internal control system. Azerbaijan has introduced multiple actions, rules, and procedures and tried to adopt this strategy in order to prevent such troubles. The President's decree on “Legalization of Funds and Other Properties Accused in 2017 and the Action Plan to Combat Financing Terrorism” intensifies this strategy. According to a report, some changes can be made to improve and improve the money-laundering system:
1. A more intergovernmental memorandum of understanding can be signed between other countries' financial supervisory authorities or financial monitoring agencies on reporting harmful activities related to money laundering.
2. Arts, antiques, and other high-value consumer goods can be included as tracking issues in the anti-money laundering status of travel agencies and car dealers.
3. According to the "Approval of Criteria for the Distribution of Micro, Small, Medium and Large Entrepreneurship Issues" decision according to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, micro and small businesses can be included in the case of preventing money laundering.