Kazakhstan Substantially Lowers Its Vulnerability To Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

NUR-SULTAN – The annual report of the 2020 Basel AML Index ranked Kazakhstan 73rd among 141 countries in terms of the level of risk in the area of illegal money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF).

Photo credit: baigenews.kz.

This is a significant improvement for Kazakhstan as it jumped up by 45 points compared to its 2019 ranking. This is also Kazakhstan’s lowest individual risk score, 5.08, over the past three years.

The index ranks ML/TF risk in countries by calculating a score from publicly available sources such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Transparency International, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum. Estonia, 141th in the list, has the lowest score, 2.36. The highest risk belongs to Afghanistan with 8.16.

In Europe and Central Asia, Kazakhstan has a lower risk than in Russia (52nd), Turkey (41st), Uzbekistan (43rd), and Ukraine (67th).

According to the Kazakh Financial Monitoring Committee, Kazakhstan has been adapting FATF standards in Kazakhstan’s legislative acts over the past years. The country’s improvement was the result of the effective and well-coordinated work of all state, law enforcement, special state bodies, as well as financial monitoring entities involved in combating ML/TF.

The committee’s departments focused on combating financial pyramids, suppressing the activities of fly-by-night firms, and reducing the level of cash withdrawal by 39 percent, the committee press service reported.

The Basel index, however, will calculate the effectiveness of Kazakhstan’s measures to combat ML/FT on the results of a mutual assessment, which Kazakhstan will take only in 2021-2022.

The Basel AML Index is the only independent, research-based index run by a non-profit organization ranking countries according to their risk of ML/TF.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!