Cabinet on Wednesday gave the Insolvency Department the power to take on the duties of the asset management service to better handle money laundering cases.

According to a proposal put forward by Energy Minister George Papanastasiou, the purpose of this development is to combat organised crime and eliminate proceeds from criminal activities through the effective management of assets seized in criminal cases.

The department was designated as the appropriate one to deal with these issues following coordination of the Legal Service and the anti-money laundering unit (Mokas).

The ultimate goal is to preserve the value of the seized assets in view of the possible subsequent issuance of confiscation orders, as well as their effective liquidation/sale.

The Insolvency Department, to fully respond to its new role, secured technical assistance through the European TSI 2024 programme for the “Establishment of Asset Management Office” Project.

The project in question has been assigned to the Council of Europe to provide appropriate guidance and support, so that both the department and the Republic of Cyprus put in place appropriate mechanisms for the effective management of assets derived from criminal activities.

An official announcement said the assumption of duties by the Insolvency Department is a positive development in the whole system of implementing measures to fight crime, promoting, among other things, cross-border cooperation, since it will place the Republic of Cyprus on the list of countries with specialised offices for management of frozen/confiscated assets, in the context of criminal cases.