Gibraltar needs to improve money laundering and terrorist funding measures according to a European Council report.

The report, published by EC body Moneyval this week, calls on authorities on the Rock to ‘better use the tools and mechanisms to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism’.

In response to the report, the overseas territory thanked Moneyval and started a process to put the points raised into action.

“A specific remediation programme has already been commenced so as to address the action points and recommendations contained in the review,” said the Gibraltar Government.

“As such, the Gibraltar Authorities look forward to continuing to work closely and constructively with Moneyval to address all and any deficiencies identified in the report.”

The report recognised the work of the Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in cooperation with enforcement agencies.

It pointed out, however, that the FIU was used ‘to a limited extent’ which meant it ‘did not have significant impact’ on money laundering investigations.

“Whilst there were several convictions for self-laundering involving domestic predicate offences, there were no successful third-party and stand-alone money laundering prosecutions or convictions,” said Moneyval.

“This does not appear to be in line with the jurisdiction’s risk profile.

“Fundamental improvements are also needed with regard to the confiscation of proceeds of crime.

“Unlike the money laundering risk, the financing of terrorism risk is not properly understood.

“The quality of reporting of suspicious transactions remains a concern.”

The Chief Minister reacted to the report admitting Gibraltar could do better.

“The Government is happy that this objective process has identified areas which require greater attention,” said Fabian Picardo.

“Confirmation that our legislative scheme is now robust is very satisfying indeed.

“We do not pretend everything is right with Gibraltar, we just want to do what we need to in order to ensure that we constantly improve what we do.”

The Moneyval report, which was seized on by the Spanish press, comes after a recent arrest of a local man as part of a money laundering investigation.

Moneyval have asked Gibraltar to report back to its 2021 plenary to check on the progress being made in these areas.

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