The anti-money-laundering unit (Mokas) has seized approximately €10 million, as well as nine luxury vehicles, four properties and cryptocurrencies assets over the past two years as part of investigations into money laundering.

The data was released by the Legal Service to parliament ahead of Wednesday’s House ethics committee, which focused on measures taken by government agencies to combat money laundering.

The Legal Services confirmed the figures to the Cyprus Mail.

According to the data, Mokas requested and obtained freezing orders from Cypriot courts for cases investigated by the police, as well as by foreign countries. These orders cover monetary amounts totalling €5,290,938, $4,753,972, and £15,413, along with nine vehicles, one property and €90,000 in cryptocurrency assets.

Additionally, seizure orders were also issued in Cyprus for cases in which Mokas provided assistance to foreign prosecuting authorities.

These orders cover monetary amounts totalling €1,883,090 and $180,657, along with one property and the sale of two houses in payment of a confiscation order.

Seizure orders were issued during investigations, while confiscation orders were issued after the convictions.

According to the existing legislation, banks, investment firms, money transfer companies, casinos, as well as auditing and law firms are obligated to monitor, apply preventive measures, and report suspicious transactions to Mokas.

In cases where suspicious transactions are reported and subsequent financial analysis reveals evidence warranting suspicion of criminal activity, the information is forwarded to the police for criminal investigation.

Mokas does not have the authority to conduct criminal investigations. Information exchange also occurs with other government agencies, such as the tax commissioner, the customs department, the legal service, the audit office and the interior ministry.

Between 2022 and February 2024, the anti-money-laundering unit transferred a total of 54 cases to the police to determine whether criminal offences occurred following the analysis of suspicious transactions. These cases involve possible violations of EU sanctions, potential money laundering, fraud, drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism.

Out of the 54 cases, 28 were transferred to the tax commissioner, ten to the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), one to the Central Bank and 15 to the interior ministry.

On top of that, throughout the same period, Mokas transferred a total of 124 financial information and financial analysis disclosures for individuals under investigation by the police or for cases involving naturalisation, sanctions violations, corruption, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

Finally, in 2022, foreign countries satisfied 438 requests from Mokas for information as part of investigations into criminal cases by the police, and the unit, in turn, satisfied 208 requests from foreign countries for information for their own investigations.

In 2023, foreign countries satisfied 327 requests from Mokas, which, in turn, satisfied 327 requests for information to foreign countries.