Falling rankings in the Basel AML Index, released today, show how many countries’ AML systems are a weak defence against today’s money laundering risks.

Ineffective anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) systems and lack of transparency are leaving the door open to increasingly sophisticated money laundering schemes.

Cryptocurrency regulations are developing fast. Across the world, authorities are reacting to the emerging threat posed by criminals using new payment methods to conceal and launder the proceeds of their crimes.

However, as the application of anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) due diligence requirements becomes stricter and more entities implement preventative measures, criminals are constantly looking elsewhere for potential havens for their illicit activities.

The Panama Papers provided proof to the world of something that had long been suspected: the secrecy havens – jurisdictions in which global financial flows were hidden in ways that not even those entrusted with enforcing the laws and regulations of countries around the world could detect – were being used by those engaged in a host of nefarious activities, from tax evasion to corruption and even to child pornography.

This book contains essays presented at the seminar written by practitioners and academics with extensive experience in the field of CTF. The authors offer a diversity of views on the domestic, regional and international initiatives aimed at detecting terrorist funds in the financial system, preventing terrorists from moving their money via alternative financial channels and facilitating the recovery of terrorist assets.

Anti-money laundering systems have the potential to curb the use of proceeds of corruption and other crimes by the perpetrators. An effectively implemented anti-money laundering framework limits the channels through which illicit funds can be laundered, making crime riskier and reducing the incentives for corrupt activities.

The transition process in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe from a one-party state to a democratic system has been long and difficult and has frequently been accompanied by institutional instability.

The judiciary and law enforcement bodies have been no exception. Both have suffered from a weak legal tradition in many countries of the region, weak implementation of existing legislation, limited operational effectiveness, corruption and the influence of informal personal networks. These developments can also be observed in the area of financial intelligence.