An Eventful Day and Evening

It has been more than two years since the ACAMS Cyprus Chapter hosted its last face-to-face learning event before COVID-19 hit the world. And they came back with a bang!

The ACAMS Cyprus Chapter has been hosting sold-out events since its launch in 2015. The chapter always aims to bring together the anti-financial crime (AFC) and wider compliance community of Cyprus by providing a platform for learning, networking and exchanging best practices.

The ACAMS Cyprus Chapter AFC Forum 2022 took place on October 4, 2022, and it was fully booked and packed! Whether it was the great topics, the fantastic speakers or the wine that always follows a Cyprus Chapter event, it was amazing to see the local community back together. Representatives from various regulatory bodies, including the local financial intelligence unit, banks, electronic money institutions, foreign exchange (forex) firms, investment firms, accountants, lawyers, as well as casinos. Everyone came together in the chapter’s first post-COVID-19, and admittedly its largest ever, event! The ACAMS Cyprus Chapter community is growing stronger and stronger every year.

The event comprised four hours and four topics presented by four internationally recognized subject-matter experts (it was supposed to be five speakers, but COVID-19 is still haunting us).

After the welcoming remarks from the ACAMS Cyprus Chapter Chair Gregory Dellas and a warm welcome by Hellenic Bank, who hosted the event in their magnificent venue, Faisal Islam took over. Islam flew all the way from Canada to be with us and described a pragmatic approach to crypto-assets. He talked about the significance of cryptocurrency projects, explained various methods of evaluating the risks of such projects as well as blockchain projects and also described mitigating controls.

Islam stepped in to replace Martin Nordh, the CEO of Acuminor, who unfortunately fell sick a couple of days before the event and could not fly from Sweden. Therefore, Islam also presented Nordh’s topic on using open-source intelligence in know your customer. Islam took an extremely original approach to describe the risks of noncompliance and the impact those could have on financial institutions (FIs), engaging the audience in a very colorful discussion.

Both topics were well received by the audience, who had many questions to ask Islam!

Dr. Carsten Giersch flew from Germany, courtesy of Berlin Risk Advisors, to deliver a presentation on the bribery and corruption-related risks of politically exposed people, clearly explaining the different emerging risks and taking a deep dive into cases from around the world.

Last but not least, Samar Pratt and Boryana Saragerova from Exiger in London presented the hot topic of sanctions. The topics included how FIs can comprehend and defend themselves against sanctions risks, export controls and dual-use goods scenarios, taking a realistic approach through the use of case studies and emphasizing the consequences of noncompliance. Needless to say, the audience was kept on its toes throughout.

Closing remarks were given by Nassos Paltayian, the ACAMS Cyprus Chapter co-vice chair, before attendees were treated to a networking reception with finger food and drinks at the venue’s impressive foyer.

The event would not have been possible without the support of Hellenic Bank, which kindly offered the venue and the networking reception, Exiger, Berlin Risk Advisors and Acuminor for sponsoring the costs of the speakers to enable them to travel from around the world to the event, as well as ECOMMBX for offering an exceptional speaker dinner at an idyllic place in Nicosia. The dinner was well attended by representatives of a number of regulatory bodies, speakers and sponsors, as well as the board of the ACAMS Cyprus Chapter. Till the next one!

ACAMS Cyprus Chapter Board,

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