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US official says Cyprus not open for illicit business

Illicit actors should know that Cyprus is not open for business, a statement by the US embassy in Cyprus said on Friday, following a visit by U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea to the island.

The purpose of Billingslea’s trip was to enhance cooperation between the US and Cyprus as well to ensure ‘that Cyprus has a strong and healthy financial sector’.

According to the statement, Billingslea had a series of meetings with Cyprus’ foreign and finance ministers as well as the governor of the Central Bank.

The assistant secretary ‘discussed the positive improvements and reforms that Cyprus has made in its anti-money laundering regulations and regulatory oversight’ and meetings also explored areas where the US and the island could ‘continue to partner to fight threats to the international financial sector’.

The statement went on to add that the US ‘was encouraged by the commitments made by Cypriot officials’ and would continue to work together to combat corruption, money landering and other financial threats.

It specified that positive, long-term economic development ‘requires a strong and well-regulated banking sector. It is vital that illicit actors know that Cyprus is not open for business’.

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