RIGA – Latvia has submitted a technical report on implementation of recommendations from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), demonstrating significant changes in the financial sector.
The State Chancellery reported that Latvian has sumbited a progress report on implementation of Moneyval
recommendations, included in the fifth round evaluation on improvement of the anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) system along with detailed description on results of the work of co-responsible institutions, especially the government and the parliament.
“With this report we a sending a clear message that the financial sector has been and will be the priority of the Latvian government. We will not have any tolerance to money laundering and use of the Latvian financial system. The report on technical implementation of recommendation prove that much has been done. We do not plan to stop because we understand that we have to be on alert and follow development of all risks in the international financial system,” said Latvian Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity).
“Fight against financial crimes my priority, being the interior minister. Money laundering is not a problem just in Latvia, but the whole world,” said Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV).
The report says that in October 2018, the Latvian government adopted an action plan for implementation of Moneyval recommendation, which was followed by the government’s plan about “overhaul of the financial sector”, adopted in February 2019, with a goal to strengthen the financial sector regulator, improve coordination among engaged partners in order to achieve efficient results.
Legislative amendments have been adopted to meet international standards, including ban on financial institutions to make transactions with shell companies.
In 2018, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia froze the largest amount laundered money – EUR 101.5 million, compared to EUR 45.6 million in 2017. In 2019 so far EUR 168.3 million have been frozen.
Latvia has improved information about true beneficiaries and since November 2017 has liquidated more than 17,000 companies that have not disclosed their true beneficiaries, including shell companies.