The European Commission on Friday sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus for failing to transpose the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into national law.
The transposition deadline for the directive elapsed on January 10, 2020 and, to date, the Cypriot authorities have not notified the Commission of any transposition measure, a statement said.
“Legal gaps in one member state have an impact on Europe as a whole,” it added.
The Commission said the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing was instrumental to ensure financial stability and security in Europe.
“Fighting money laundering is as relevant now as before the coronavirus pandemic,” it said. In fact, it added, coronavirus-related crime and the laundering of its proceeds is on the rise, according to Europol and national law enforcement authorities.
Ensuring timely and correct transposition of the existing AML rules is one of the actions envisaged by the Commission in its six-point Action Plan published on May 7, 2020, it said.
“Without a satisfactory response from Cyprus within the next two months, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.”