YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A meeting on preventing money laundering and financing terrorism brought together leading Armenian decision-makers on Thursday in Yerevan. Armenia’s General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepian joined about 30 parliamentarians and a number of government representatives at the National Workshop on Combating Money Laundering and Suppressing Financing of Terrorism to discuss international conventions related to these crimes–implementation mechanisms–and national initiatives.
The workshop is part of a large-scale program launched last year by the Yerevan office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Two national workshops were organized in 2003 together with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)–which resulted in a number of recommendations that are currently in the process of implementation.
In opening the event–head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan Vladimir Pryakhin stressed that the actual fight can not take place within the limits of national borders. "Only close international collaboration and direct contacts between law enforcement agencies and financial institutions can provide effective means to fight this evil," he said.
Pryakhin also said that the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism should be in line with fighting corruption.
Armenian authorities have already ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime–and the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering–Search–Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime.
Armenian President Robert Kocharian last year endorsed the National Anti-Corruption Strategy–which incorporates a number of measures to prevent money laundering. The OSCE Office–which has been assisting the Armenian Government in the development of the strategy since 2000–is now assisting with implementation.