Cyprus says money laundering allegations must stop

Cyprus says money laundering allegations 'war' must stop, international inspections welcome

Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Cyprus says that international allegations it is a haven for money laundering amount to a "war" and must stop.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou says Cyprus has received very good grades for adopting and implementing anti-money laundering laws from the European Council in 2011 and the International Monetary Fund last year.

Stefanou told reporters Wednesday that Cyprus has never refused EU and international inspections of its banking system.

Cyprus is trying to finalize an agreement with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF on a bailout to help rescue its banks, which lost billions on bad Greek debt.

But talks have been dogged by allegations, mainly out of Germany, that Cyprus serves as a money laundering hub for Russian oligarchs.

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