Cyprus launches online register of beneficial owners to combat money laundering

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The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has unveiled its new online platform for the Cyprus Register of Beneficial Owners of Express Trusts and Similar Legal Arrangements (CyTBOR), which will be accessible to trustees from 17 May and to all parties concerned from 17 June.

In a statement dated May 16, the regulator declared the need for the creation of the platform derived from section 61C(4)(a) of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and terrorism (AML/CFT law), in full compliance with the 4th and 5th European Directives on the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism.

CyTBOR facilitates what it describes as simple and immediate searches for up-to-date information and data on the beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements.

Therefore, it is now possible to directly search and identify the settlors, trustees, protectors (if any), beneficiaries and any other natural person exercising ultimate control over the trust through direct or indirect ownership, or by other means.

CySEC Chairman George Theocharides said: “This is a very important project both for the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and for our country, helping to ensure full transparency and compliance for all supervised entities, ensuring the credibility of the market”.

According to Theocharides, in addition to CySEC, all control authorities, such as the Customs Department, the Tax Department, MOKAS and the Police, will have unhindered access to the Registry as part of their responsibilities.

Furthermore, it is possible to provide information on the beneficial owners of express trusts and similar legal arrangements to the respective competent authorities of other Member States of the European Union in a timely manner.

In addition, as part of the due diligence and identification measures for their customers, all responsible persons will also have access to the Register.

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