Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering
Zeljko Radovanovic, Acting Director
Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering is the financial intelligence service of the Republic of Serbia.
The authorizations, competencies and obligations of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering are determined by the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (“Official Gazette of the RS” No. 113/2017 and 91/19). The Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering performs financial and information tasks: collects, processes, analyzes and forwards to the competent authorities information, data and documentation obtained in accordance with the law and performs other tasks related to the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing in accordance with by law.
The Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing prescribes the circle of taxpayers (banks, insurance companies, authorized exchange offices, accountants, auditors, tax advisors …) who have the obligation to carry out actions and measures prescribed by that law, and in case of suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing, data on the transaction, or on the person performing the transaction, shall be submitted to the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering.
The Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering analyzes the data obtained from taxpayers, and if it determines that in a specific case there is a suspicion that it is money laundering or terrorist financing, it forwards the case to the competent authorities: usually the prosecutor’s office and the police.
The Director of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering may issue an order for temporary suspension of the execution of a transaction that is reasonably suspected to be money laundering or terrorist financing. This authorization is limited in time to 72 hours, and if the end of the period falls on non-working days, it can be extended for another 48 hours. When this authorization is used, the competent authorities shall be notified in order to take measures within their competence.
Another important authority of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering is the legal possibility to monitor the financial operations of a certain person, if there is a suspicion that he is laundering money or financing terrorism. This authorization is also limited in time to three months, but can be extended for a maximum of six months from the date of issuance of the order.
With the latest amendments to the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of December 24, 2019 (“Official Gazette of RS” No. 91/19), the Administration was given the authority to issue licenses for authorized persons and their deputies to taxpayers under the Law. According to the Law, licenses are acquired on the basis of a professional exam whose organization is within the competence of the Administration.
When it comes to the supervision over the application of the law by taxpayers, with the latest amendments, the supervision over auditors passed into the competence of the Securities Commission, while the Management maintained supervision over accountants, entrepreneurs and legal entities engaged in factoring and forfeiting.
A significant part of the work of the Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering also refers to international cooperation. Namely, the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering is a member of the Egmont Group, a group that brings together financial intelligence services from 164 countries. This gives it the opportunity to obtain very important financial intelligence from other countries very quickly, if there are grounds for suspicion that it is money laundering or terrorist financing in connection with a certain transaction or person.
The Administration actively participates in the work of the Manival Committee, an expert committee of the Council of Europe that works according to the system of mutual assessments of member states. Another very important aspect of the international cooperation of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering is the possibility of concluding cooperation agreements with foreign partners. The Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering has so far signed co-operation agreements with 46 countries.
With the enactment of the Law on Restriction of the Disposal of Property for the Prevention of Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Administration gained competencies in the fight against terrorism. The main goal of passing the Law is to improve the fight against terrorism by establishing a system of preventive and repressive measures against terrorist financing.