Lat­vian gov­ern­ment to ex­pand Money Laun­der­ing Pre­ven­tion Ser­vice’s ca­pac­ity

Baltic News Network - - Front Page -

On Tues­day, 25 Septem­ber, Lat­vian gov­ern­ment reached an agree­ment on the need to re­or­ga­nize the su­per­vi­sion Cabi­net of Min­is­ters has over Money Laun­der­ing Pre­ven­tion Ser­vice. At the same time, mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment also agreed to ex­pand the ser­vice’s ca­pac­ity, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dana Reizniece-Ozola told jour­nal­ists.

In to­tal, it is planned to in­vest ap­prox­i­mately EUR 6 mil­lion in the next two years, added the min­is­ter.

In ad­di­tion, it is planned to in­vite ex­perts from OECD to as­sist. This will cost an ad­di­tional EUR 218,000. Reizniece-Ozola ex­plains that OECD ex­perts will ar­rive be­fore the end of the year. They will help de­ter­mine how ef­fi­ciently Lat­vian banks un­cover true ben­e­fi­cia­ries. It is also planned that they will as­sist with eval­u­at­ing Lat­vian leg­is­la­tion, which in­cludes as­sis­tance with de­vel­op­ment of guide­lines to im­prove in­ves­ti­ga­tion of cases deal­ing with money laun­der­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter, re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Con­trol Ser­vice would help speed up de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses re­gard­ing the nec­es­sary pro­ce­dures in money laun­der­ing pre­ven­tion. «For ex­am­ple, when in­for­ma­tion about sus­pi­cious trans­ac­tions is re­ceived, its for­ward­ing to law en­force­ment in­sti­tu­tions could be per­formed with­out co­or­di­na­tion with the pros­e­cu­tor gen­eral’s of­fice,» added ReiznieceO­zola.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported, Con­trol Ser­vice is cur­rently the only state in­sti­tu­tion that works un­der the wing of the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice. Fi­nance Min­istry notes that its ef­fi­ciency and qual­ity of com­ple­tion of its main du­ties will ben­e­fit from re­or­ga­ni­za­tion into an ad­min­is­tra­tive-type fi­nance su­per­vi­sion in­sti­tu­tion un­der man­age­ment of the Cabi­net of Min­is­ters and per­formed with me­di­a­tion from In­te­rior Af­fairs Min­istry.

In ac­cor­dance with Law on the Pre­ven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing and Ter­ror­ism Fi­nanc­ing, Con­trol Ser­vice is a spe­cially-formed state in­sti­tu­tion that su­per­vises mon­e­tary trans­ac­tions and in­ter­cepts sus­pi­cious ones. The ser­vice re­ceives, reg­is­ters, pro­cesses, stores, analy­ses and passes in­for­ma­tion to in­ves­tiga­tive au­thor­i­ties, pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice and courts of jus­tice so that this in­for­ma­tion can be used to com­bat money laun­der­ing or other fi­nan­cial crimes.

REUTERS/SCANPIX

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