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