On 3 May 2023, the Cyprus Bar Association (CBA) issued an announcement emphasising its commitment to effective supervision and the priority which it assigns to this mission. In the announcement, the CBA states that it actively works to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, placing great importance on supervisory checks and taking actions to enhance the exercise of supervision.
The announcement specifies that since March 2022, the CBA has taken all necessary measures in relation to the EU restrictive measures (sanctions) imposed on Russia, ensuring that it issues sufficient information and guidance for its supervised entities to enable effective compliance. The announcement further notes that the CBA continues to carry out on-site inspections and the CBA has modernised the framework of supervisory checks, including through the use of modern software for the digital collection and evaluation of information. In this respect, the CBA notes its cooperation with global organisation K2 Integrity for comprehensive and targeted training on sanctions.
The announcement goes on to highlight the fact that the Supervisory Board of the CBA has adjudicated a large number of cases concerning money laundering as well as Cyprus' much-discussed investment programme, noting that this work has resulted in a number of convictions and financial penalties based on applicable legislation.
The announcement further specifies that from September 2022 to 30 April 2023, the CBA conducted on-site inspections on 201 supervised entities to assess their proper compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing requirements. The announcement provides a detailed breakdown on the number of cases resulting in indictments, guilty verdicts, and sentences, as well as figures on completed cases and links to the reasoned decisions of the Board.
The CBA reiterates its aim to continuously strengthen its Supervisory Control Department with modern means of supervision and by remaining in constant communication with corresponding authorities in Cyprus and abroad.