RIGA - Till now, cooperation and institutional framework at the European Union level have proved insufficient. Therefore, Latvia will continue to advocate better cross-border coordination of measures against financial crime, as well as strengthening supervisory and control authorities at the European Union level, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said today at the 2020 Nordic and Baltic Regional Information-Sharing Symposium.
The minister expressed his satisfaction that a public-private information sharing platform has been created in Latvia so that these sectors can come together on their own initiative and join in the fight against financial crimes through provision of the crucial information.
Rinkevics emphasized that money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation are most frequently cross-border crimes and the measures taken by a single country alone might not be enough for combating them - crime prevention calls for international efforts. He said that cooperation and institutional framework at the European Union level have proved insufficient. He added that this is why Latvia will continue to advocate better cross-border coordination of measures against financial crime, as well as strengthening supervisory and control authorities at the European Union level.
''This new supervision function should operate based on a set of harmonized, directly applicable rules. We need to ensure that supervision aimed at preventing the use of financial institutions for money laundering and terrorist financing are of a high quality throughout the European Union,'' Rinkevics said.
He also said that a year ago, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins announced the decision to implement a substantial reform of financial sector. 2019 was a pivotal year for making the needed improvements in order to rectify deficiencies identified in a report by Moneyval, the Committee of the Council of Europe of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, he emphasized.
''The comprehensive reform of the financial system carried out by the Latvian Government, extensive amendments made to laws and regulations, measures taken by competent authorities to effectively apply international standards, and intensive international cooperation – all those steps are evidence that Latvia has resolved to establish and strengthen transparency in its financial sector. Coordination and cooperation between law enforcement authorities, private sector, prosecution and courts as well supervision authorities, has resulted in a unified understanding on how to interpret and take action on problems related to money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing,'' the foreign minister went on to say.
''We are today pursuing development of our financial sector by working in a targeted manner in order to have a dynamic and secure financial sector sustainable over the long-term. We know that only by remaining on such a track can Latvia give a truly valuable contribution to the overall regional and global financial stability and security,'' Rinkevics emphasized.