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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-07

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] International money laundering conference opens
  • [02] Cypriot deputies call on the OSCE to help with Cyprus issue
  • [03] Greenpeace press conference on solar energy
  • [04] International Money Laundering Conference-2nd
  • [05] President Clerides arrives in New York

  • 1515:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] International money laundering conference opens

    Nicosia, Jul 7 (CNA) -- The amount of money laundered each year in the world's financial system "exceeds 500 billion US dollars, while some argue that it probably reaches one trillion dollars."

    This was revealed here today by Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) Governor Afxentis Afxentiou.

    Afxentiou was addressing a three-day international money laundering conference, which opened today in Nicosia, organised by IBC Gulf Conferences, which is the Pan Arab division of the IBC Group Plc, an international operation with over fifteen regional centres worldwide in Business and Management education.

    The conference will examine issues such as the impact of organised crime on national and the world financial systems, and suggestions for developing a response to international organised crime.

    During the conference, participants from the USA, the UK, Switzerland and other countries, will express their views and submit suggestions on the issue.

    Referring to the island's performance in preventing money laundering, Afxentiou noted: "I am proud to say that Cyprus can be a model for many countries of the world. The vastness of the amounts of money involved poses a severe danger to the world financial system, threatening the smooth functioning of financial markets."

    CBC Governor pointed out that 70 per cent of laundered funds are drug related, while other offences include illegal arms deals, premeditated murders, abduction, smuggling, product counterfeiting, etc.

    It seems that criminal behaviour is no longer the act of individuals, but in more and more cases, that of organisations, a development that turns organised crime into "a threat to most of us, to financial institutions, and to the society as a whole," Afxentiou noted.

    The abolition of exchange controls in most countries and the liberalisation and globalisation of financial markets have facilitated money laundering, he pointed out. "Organised crime can now operate across national borders more easily and speedily, taking advantage of the latest technological innovations," such as electronic banking and the Internet, he added.

    Afxentiou noted that fighting money laundering is an "international problem," and he urged regulatory authorities worldwide "to remain vigilant, keeping under constant review the development of new money laundering techniques, and adopting appropriate counter measures."

    On Wednesday, July 9, last day of the conference, a workshop as well as a question and answer session will take place.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [02] Cypriot deputies call on the OSCE to help with Cyprus issue

    Nicosia, Jul 7 (CNA) -- The key to a solution in Cyprus is in Turkey's hands and the international community must act so that the territorial integrity of states is respected by all, Cypriot deputies told the 6th Annual Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), held in Warsaw.

    Speaking before the OSCE's General Committee on Political and Security Issues, Cypriot MP George Lillikas criticised the two-tier policy often selectively employed by the OSCE and other international organisations on various issues.

    He also asked rhetorically why Turkey would withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus when international organisations, including the OSCE, refuse to impose sanctions on that country as they have done on countries in other instances.

    Lillikas' statements were warmly received by representatives of other countries, including France and Germany, who also called on the OSCE to act fairly and without bias on all problems existing within the organisation's fold, making a particular reference to Cyprus.

    On his part, Cypriot deputy Isidoros Makrides told the OSCE's General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian issues, that Cyprus has for 23 years bore witness to the violation of it's people's human rights and basic freedoms by Turkey, a powerful member of the United Nations and the OSCE.

    Referring to the role of mass media on society at large, Makrides said the media constitutes a "high profile court" through which "weak and undefended victims of injustice can make their case to the international community".

    He added that in the case of Cyprus, mass media are present "independent of political, military or strategic interests" and prevent the international community from "forgetting the continued injustice committed at the expense of the Cypriot people".

    Cypriot MP Markos Kyprianou told the Session's Permanent Committee that the Cyprus issue should have been raised by the Session as a problem of invasion and occupation and a problem which Turkey plays a leading role.

    Kyprianou added that this position has been adopted by other international fora. CNA MK/EC/RM/MH/MCH/1997


    [03] Greenpeace press conference on solar energy

    Limassol, Jul 7 (CNA) -- The need for Cyprus to sign a Convention on Climate was stressed here today at a Greenpeace press conference, held on board the international environmentalist organisation's ship "Sirius", on the occasion of the launching of its campaign on solar energy.

    Pointing out the destructive effects of global warming, Dr. Mario Damato, Executive Director of the Greenpeace Mediterranean Office, said they will be especially serious in the case of Cyprus.

    "Being an island," he explained, "Cyprus will be mostly affected, since as a result of global warming sea levels will increase, causing the destruction of areas on the sea-shore."

    For this reason, Damato stressed, Cyprus should be more sensitive in issues concerning Greenpeace international climate campaign and should sign the Climate Convention.

    "Cyprus", he pointed out, "is one of the few countries which has still not signed the Climate Convention and should definitely do so."

    Pointing out that the Mediterranean region has a very good potential for solar power, it was noted that even though a vast majority of households in Cyprus use solar panels and heaters, due to the lack of relevant legislation the use of solar energy is only limited to this aspect.

    Electricity is still being produced by fuel-powered plants using oil and producing large amounts of carbon dioxide, the gas mainly responsible for overheating the earth's atmosphere, it was pointed out at the press conference.

    Also speaking at the press conference, Greenpeace Mediterranean campaigner in Cyprus, Irene Constantinou, criticised the Cyprus government for "playing around the International Climate Convention."

    She also criticised the government for its policy concerning the environmentally sensitive Akamas area in the western tip of the island, unique for its flora and fauna.

    "The authorities promised protection of Akamas more than a decade ago and yet nothing positive has happened", she said, stressing the need for protecting the island's natural heritage.

    "Both hoteliers and the British army, which has staged military exercises in the area, must move out", Constantinou demanded.

    "Sirius" which is now halfway through its 1997 Mediterranean campaign tour, had previously visited Turkey where Greenpeace organised three peaceful events to highlight industrial pollution in Izmir, Aliaga and Ankara against plans to build a nuclear power plant.

    "Greenpeace which has been campaigning on this issue for five years is very concerned about Turkey's nuclear plans," Damato said.

    Tonight, Greenpeace in cooperation with the Cyprus Centre of Study in the Eastern Mediterranean organise a lecture on the environmentalist movement's Mediterranean Campaign.

    On Thursday, July 10, Greenpeace in cooperation with the Cyprus College Ecology Club are organising a discussion on "Solar Energy-Perspectives and Applications".

    CNA PI/MCH/AP/1997

    [04] International Money Laundering Conference-2nd

    Nicosia, Jul 7 (CNA) -- A three-day international money laundering conference, which opened here today, will examine issues such as the impact of organised crime on national and world financial systems and suggestions on developing a response to international organised crime.

    New Scotland Yard's Graham Saltmarsh, addressing the Conference described the strategies used by governments, organisations, the European Union, and other institutions in their struggle against money laundering.

    He said that in global terms, the four main competitors in illicit economy are the Sicilian Mafia, the Colombian Cartels, the Chinese Triads and the Japanese Yakuza.

    As a result of globalisation of the markets, Saltmarsh noted, resources and capabilities of individual police agencies are shrinking, while companies and organisations in future will not identify with any particular country, as they will relocate, physically or electronically, to where the profit is greatest and regulation least.

    Central Bank of Cyprus Chief Senior Manager, Andreas Philippou, described Cyprus' policy on the issue, and said the Republic has taken every necessary measure to prevent money laundering.

    For Cyprus, he said, eliminating money laundering "not only represents the honourable and ethical path to follow, but also ultimately is expected to promote material interest as well."

    Referring to the offshore sector, which is considered as a high-risk sector for money laundering, Philippou pointed out that the Cyprus government intents to retain it. He noted, however, that to achieve this, the sector "should remain and seem to be clean."

    Charles Hecker, consultant at leading consultancy organisation "Controls Risks Group", based in Britain, revealed the level of criminality and corruption in Russia, by giving a number of statistics on the issue.

    He said that since the beginning of the year, the number of unsolved murder cases reached 3.000, while over the past five years, registered criminal incidents involving organised crime increased by 94 per cent.

    Hecker also noted that there are more than 9.000 gangs in Russia, "employing" around 100.000 people.

    Dumitru Sorescu, Economic Crime police officer at the General Police Directorate of Romania, stressed the need for continuous co-operation between the government, the parliament, and the judiciary in a country, if organised crime is to be eliminated.

    He also stressed that international co-operation is essential to fight organised crime worldwide.

    Organised crime has a tremendous ability in penetrating the political and juridical systems, which leads to corruption, providing criminals with the power to influence the political and economic developments, Sorescu said.

    Tomorrow, second day of the three-day Conference, other six participants will address it.

    CNA GG/MCH/1997

    [05] President Clerides arrives in New York

    New York, Jul 7 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides arrived here today for UN-led direct talks with Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, scheduled between July 9 and 13, aiming at a settlement of the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to the press on arrival, President Clerides said that UN resolutions cannot be subject to interpretation, pointing out the Greek Cypriot side enters the talks "in good will, ready to negotiate a solution that will secure the future of the two communities on the island."

    Answering a relevant question, President Clerides stressed that to reach a solution "we have to accept what is stated in UN resolutions is not subject to interpretation."

    Giving as an example the issue of one indivisible sovereignty, repeated in successive UN resolutions, President Clerides said it is accepted by Denktash "but according to his own interpretation" of the issue.

    "The definitions should be such, so as to be acceptable by both communities and not be subject to interpretation," he added.

    Responding to another question, President Clerides said Britain and the US have submitted a document to the UN on various points discussed during the visit of former British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, to the island.

    "The UN," President Clerides added, "is examining it (the document) but have not committed itself on how to use it."

    Regarding the security issue, President Clerides stressed that it is "one of the basic aspects" of the Cyprus problem, noting that "a solution will be impossible if the Greek and Turkish Cypriots do not feel secure for the future."

    The President of the Republic repeated the proposals made by the Greek Cypriot side on security, that included the demilitarisation of the island and the stationing of an international force under a UN Security Council mandate.

    These proposals, he noted, were rejected by the Turkish Cypriot side which insists on the Treaty of Guarantee which became part and parcel of the package deal reached in Zurich in 1959 that established the Republic of Cyprus.

    The Treaty names Greece, Turkey and Britain as the guarantor powers of the Republic of Cyprus, giving them the right of joint or even unilateral action for the purpose of re-establishing the state of affairs.

    The Turkish Cypriot side insists on the maintenance of this Treaty and asks for an increase of Greek and Turkish military presence on the island.

    President Clerides and Denktash had two informal meetings in Nicosia in October 1994, which reached a deadlock. The two men have not met since.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MCH/AP/1997
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