TALLINN - Juri Ratas, prime minister of Estonia and chairman of the Center Party, has thanked the Riigikogu legal affairs committee led by fellow Centrist Jaanus Karilaid for the work done towards preventing money laundering.
Ratas described the money laundering allegations raised with regard to the branch of Danske Bank in Estonia concerning the years 2007-2014 as an extremely serious problem. According to Ratas, said case has undermined the reliability of banking and the good reputation of the Estonian state. Therefore it is of utmost importance that both the financial sector as well as the state as a whole have learned from what happened and schemes like that will be no longer possible in the future.
"It is the role of all related parties to ensure that control mechanisms were strong enough in the future for suspicious transactions to be detected and possibilities for participation in illegal financial schemes to be ruled out. By now necessary steps for the investigation of suspicious transactions conducted at the time have been taken by the prosecutor's office, the financial intelligence unit of the Police and Border Guard Board, the Financial Supervision Authority and several other institutions," Ratas said.
Broad-based discussions in the Riigikogu legal affairs committee, at Cabinet meetings of the government and in the government committee for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist finance have also helped establish clarity when it comes to matters of organization of work and legal issues alike.
"An in-depth analysis of the transactions involving suspected money laundering that took place in 2007-2014 and elimination of the shortcomings that enabled it are a precondition for it to be possible to restore trust in credit institutions and the Estonian state, which have taken a serious blow. Cooperation in drawing conclusions from the Danske case and learning from it is very important. It is our duty to ensure that similar events can not be repeated in the future," Ratas said.
According to the prime minister, the summary drawn up by the legal affairs committee makes a positive contribution to evaluating the actions and better coordinating the activities of the institutions and authorities responsible for the prevention of money laundering in Estonia. It also serves as an important input to the government committee for the prevention of money laundering and the next government and composition of the parliament.
"Our institutions and legislation must always be appropriate and up-to-date to prevent all possible similar cases at their source. I would like to once again emphasize the importance of broad-based cooperation among all relevant organizations and the active role of the government and the Riigikogu. I thank all members of the legal affairs committee for comprehensive work and contribution to the investigation of the case relating to the branch of Danske Bank active in Estonia and analyzing the work of the authorities connected with it," Ratas said.