Anti-Money Laundering Service to be supervised by Cabinet of Ministers
On Thursday, 18 October, members of the Saeima supported amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in the first reading.
These amendments provide for enhancing the institutional supervision model for the Anti-Money Laundering Service, as well as its functional capacity and independence, as reported by Saeima’s press-service. The legislative draft states that the service will be put under supervision of the Cabinet of Ministers. The institution will remain independent in its activities. Currently this institution is the only state institution that works under supervision of the prosecutor’s office. It is planned that the chief of the Anti-Money Laundering Service will be approved by the Saeima for a five-year term following a recommendation from the Cabinet of Ministers. The Saeima will also have the authority to dismiss the chief of this institution. The same person will not be allowed to take post for more than two consecutive terms.
Currently all employees of the control service require a special permit to access confidential information. Intended amendments provide that the institution’s chief will be able to pick posts that do not require special permits.
It is also expected that meetings of the Advisory Council will be organized and hosted by the chief of the control service. The prosecutor general, who is currently delegated with the duty to host meetings, will be added to the council as a member.
Saeima notes the legislative draft also clarifies the service’s duties and rights to help identify, assess and reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing on a national and EU level. In order to implement intended changes, it is also necessary to add changes to the Law on the Prosecutor’s Office.