On 20 May 2019 a round table with representatives of commercial courts, prosecutor’s offices and AML supervisors was held in Belgrade. NRA findings and international institutions’ comments on Serbia’s compliace with relevant standards were presented directly to the representatives of mentioned institutions. The event was held within the Project on enhancing the quality and efficiency of suspicious transactions reporting (STR) and Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering (APML) core functions, which is financed by the EU and whose main beneficiary is the Ministry of Finance - Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering. This Project is implemented by a consortium led by KPMG and the event is organized with the assistance of Judicial Academy.
Jelena Pantelić and Danijela Tanić Zafirović of APML delivered an introductory presentation and presented money laundering risks. The conclusion given by international institutions that there is room for improvement and streamlining of sanctioning policy in terms of economic offences in Serbia was cited as well.
Judges of Commercial Court of Appeals and of Commercial Court presented statistical data on court decisions made in economic offences, with special emphasis on AML/CFT Law. The presentation included examples of best practice in courts and cooperation of all participants in the procedure, where a judge’s independence and free assessment of facts and interpretation of law must never be brought into question. It was stressed that without a prosecutor’s appeal against the level of sanctions imposed by a first-instance court decision the commercial court of appeals cannot for its opinion.
Representatives of the prosecutor’s office emphasised that in addition to financial sanctions imposed for economic offences, there is also space for imposing security measures, such as publishing court decisions and similar measures prescribed by law.
Annual data on court decisions in economic offences, maintained by the Statistical Office, was presented, again with special emphasis on AML/CFT Law, as well as on current problems in practice.
The participants were able to have their dilemmas clarified through the exchange of opinions, which was the objective of this round table. To ensure ever better understanding of ML risk assessment and an improved definition of all ML cases stakeholders, the participants have emphasised that it is exceptionally important to contunue with organizing this type of events periodically; next round table activity will be organized in October 2019.