Licences of two Cypriot law firms revoked over anti-money laundering failures
10 Sep 2020

The bar association has revoked the licence of two law firms who had fallen foul of money laundering regulations while five other cases relating to the citizenship by investment programme were pending and would soon be tabled before the board, its chairman Doros Ioannides said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference, Ioannides said the association’s supervision and compliance department has carried out around 700 checks at law firms, imposing a number of fines.

“We have issued fines and recently we have revoked the operating licence of two administrative services providers,” he said. “At the moment, from quite recent inspections, we have five more cases pending and they will be presented before the board for approval.”

Ioannides said the cases concerned failure to adhere to the directives relating to money laundering and the due diligence they should have done.

After the association finishes their probe, they will notify the anti-money laundering unit Mokas.

The unit has already been informed about the two firms whose licences have been revoked.

Ioannides said their investigation focused on individuals whose names came up in citizenship cases.

Ioannides said the association carried out two types of checks, on site and remotely, to ensure law firms adhered to the procedures dictated by the regulations so that the money they handled were both clean and have no connections with terrorism.

By George Psyllides, Cyprus Mail, 9 September 2020

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