Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, May 16, 2015

EASING OF RESTRICTIONS AT CYPRUS FRONTIER COULD FACILITATE MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING



Amid the recent reunification talks, which will resume on May 15, between representatives of the Republic of Cyprus, and the Turkish sector, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus*, occupied since 1974, an easing of border restrictions has occurred. No entry card will be required for visitors arriving from the Republic of Cyprus.

The potential problem is that visitors from EU countries have already been allowed free entry, and exit, into and out of northern Cyprus, without any record being kept of their ingress or egress. Given that Northern Cyprus has been, and will continue to be, a destination for money launderers, and assorted other European financial criminals, and that it is a doorway into Turkey, which makes it a primary target for terrorist financiers moving money, the lack of records of frontier movement could defeat any criminal investigation,

I know that there were honorable intentions, on the part of politicians from both sides of the border, but they have, unfortunately, created an opportunity for financial criminals to transit from one side to the other, without leaving a record that they have done so; money launderers love to exploit those types of loopholes.

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* Only Turkey recognizes Northern Cyprus as an independent entity. The United Nations regards it as occupied territory, as does the EU.

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