Vi­tol: lim­i­ta­tion of shell companies’ ac­tiv­i­ties can­not pos­si­bly af­fect tran­sit companies

Baltic News Network - - News -

Changes to the law that pro­vide re­stric­tions for shell companies can­not pos­si­bly af­fect tran­sit companies. Be­cause of that, claims voiced prior to adop­tion of said amend­ments and their pos­si­ble im­pact on tran­sit sec­tor seem rather con­fus­ing, says Vi­tol Baltic chair­man Robert Kirkup.

«I don’t un­der­stand how they could af­fect the tran­sit sec­tor. No one has said any­thing about this. If you look at the companies part of Vi­tol Group, I doubt any of the changes to the law can pos­si­bly af­fect us. If you have a busi­ness and ac­tual as­sets, there should be no prob­lems. Yes, we will look if changes have an ef­fect on our busi­ness, but going so far as to halt tran­sit… I would like those who be­lieve this to pro­vide ac­tual ex­am­ples,» said Kirkup.

He al­lows that ob­jec­tions may be as­so­ci­ated with the re­quire­ment to dis­close true ben­e­fi­cia­ries in shell companies.

«This kind of in­for­ma­tion is of­ten hard to un­cover. As far as I know, there are those who are un­happy with the re­quire­ment to re­veal to banks the iden­ti­ties of those peo­ple. Will the new re­quire­ments af­fect this mat­ter? Most def­i­nitely yes. Is this a good thing? I be­lieve so. With that said, these changes to Latvia’s leg­is­la­tion are very pos­i­tive,» said Kirkup.

As it is known, Latvia’s Saeima has ap­proved amend­ments to the Law on the Preven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing and Ter­ror­ism Fi­nanc­ing that pro­vide a pro­hi­bi­tion for banks in the coun­try to work with so-called shell companies and ser­vice their ac­counts. How­ever, different me­dia have re­ported that some anony­mous peo­ple al­legedly rep­re­sent­ing tran­sit companies have said that the new re­quire­ments risk un­der­min­ing the en­tire in­dus­try and that banks would refuse ser­vic­ing their ac­counts. These peo­ple have also men­tioned that us­ing shell companies is a nor­mal prac­tice in Europe.

Ieva Čīka/LETA

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