Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is located in the western part of Central Asia, north of Kopetdaga Mountains and between the Caspian Sea to the west and the Amu Darya River to the east. The territory of Turkmenistan is 491,200 sq km. Turkmenistan borders Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan in the east and north-east, Islamic public of Iran in the south, Afghanistan in the south-east, with the Caspian Sea in the west. The country comprises 5 velayats (regions), with the city of Ashkhabad as its capital having the status of a velayat. There are 25 other town and cities, 50 etraps (districts), as well as settlements and villages. The majority of the county comprises sparsely populated deserted areas of land.
Turkmenistan is a constitutional, secular and democratic republic with a presidential form of government.
Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries.

The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great,
Muslim crusaders, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Government of Turkmenistan is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country’s new president; he was chosen as president again in February 2012.

FATF Evaluation (Eurasian Group Evaluation) 2011:
– The foundation of Turkmenistan’s AML / CFT system was laid in 2009, when both ML and FT were criminalized. Law of the Republic of Turkmenistan “On Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing” (AML/CFT Law) came into force on August 28, 2009. Turkmenistan criminalized ML as “Legalization of Monetary Funds or other Assets Acquired by Illegal Means” in Art. 242 of the Criminal Code. This Law on AML / CFT required all financial institutions to report suspicious transactions, implement CDD measures and establish an internal control system and other mechanisms for the purpose of AML / CFT.

Financing of terrorism in Turkmenistan is criminalized in Art. 271 “Financing of Terrorism” of the Criminal Code. Pursuant to this Article, any activity involving collection or provision of funds, material, technical and other resources, or provision of financial services with the knowledge that they are intended to fund the preparation or commission of terrorism, as well as to support the activities of an organized group, illegal armed formation or criminal association established to achieve these goals constitutes a criminal offence.

Confiscation of property for ML-related offences in Turkmenistan is provided for as part of the criminal procedure legislation in Art. 130, 169 of Criminal Procedure Code, as well as in Art. 44 and 52 of CC.

The FIU of Turkmenistan (Directorate of Financial Monitoring of the Ministry of Finance of Turkmenistan,), hereinafter the “DFM”, was set up pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 10798 of January 15, 2010. The DFM is responsible for gathering, analysis and transfer of information on suspicious transactions for further investigations.

Pursuant to Art. 224 of CPC, investigations into ML-related offences are carried out by investigators of the Prosecutor’s Office, and into FT offences by investigators of the Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan.

– The main source of criminal revenues in Turkmenistan is drug trafficking. This is due to the fact that Turkmenistan is used as a transit country for shipment of drugs from Afghanistan.

Financial Intelligence Unit under the Ministry of Finance

Corruption
Although Turkmenistan has legislation to combat corruption, laws are not generally enforced, and corruption remains a problem. Formally, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of National Security, and the General Prosecutor’s Office are responsible for combating corruption. President Berdimuhamedov has publicly stated that corruption will not be tolerated. Turkmenistan joined the UN Convention against Corruption in March 2005. Still, the non-transparency of Turkmenistan’s economic, financial, and banking systems provides fertile soil for corruption. The non-government organization, Transparency International, ranked Turkmenistan 170 among 174 countries in the world in its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012 U.S. firms have identified widespread government corruption, usually in the form of bribe requests, as an obstacle to investment and business throughout all economic sectors and regions. It is most pervasive in the areas of government procurement and performance requirements.