The Republic of Cyprus and the United States of America have announced a Justice System Cooperation in order to Enhance Cypriot Capabilities to Counter Illicit Finance.

According to a Joint Press Release, “in response to a request from President Christodoulides, to further empower the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) to counter illicit finance, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and Embassy Nicosia, have established direct cooperation with ROC law enforcement entities to enhance capacity in identifying and prosecuting financial crimes.”

To this end, says the Joint Press Release, in the coming days, the FBI and the Cyprus National Police (CNP) “will sign a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing collaboration between the two justice systems, including with key law enforcement partners, the Law Office of the Republic (LOR) and the Finance Intelligence Unit (MOKAS).”

Building on existing efforts to counter money laundering and sanctions evasion, the DOJ in 2024 will share its experience with Cypriot counterparts to proactively detect, investigate, and prosecute cases involving financial crimes with a nexus to Cyprus, and will provide expert prosecutorial assistance – a substantial U.S. investment in Cypriot capacity.

It is noted that “with this increased U.S. partnership, the ROC intends to further enhance its efforts to counter money laundering and strengthen future prosecutions to continue to improve the strength, integrity, and resilience of the Cypriot legal system and economy.”

The Joint Press Release points out that DOJ elements, including the FBI, the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT), Task Force KleptoCapture, and the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), collaborated with INL, and Embassy Nicosia, to respond to President Christodoulides’ request.

“The closer cooperation of the American and Cypriot justice systems is a welcome development, and both sides look forward to the progress this collaboration will yield,” the press release concludes.

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