Real estate purchases are often associated with money laundering - FIU

  • 2022-10-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Real estate purchases, especially when real estate is purchased in order to obtain a residence permit, are often associated with money laundering, as Paulis Iljenkovs, deputy head of the Strategic Analysis Department at the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), said at the opening of the Notaries' Day on Wednesday.

Different money laundering schemes are used to, for instance, obtain the so-called golden visas, said Iljenkovs.

Real estate buyers do not necessarily have to pay for their purchases via a bank registered in Latvia. At the moment, a citizen of Russia who has a residence permit may sell a property to another Russian citizen with residence permit without using services of a bank registered in Latvia. This is one way of money laundering, explained Iljenkovs.

Likewise, a corrupt official may use a real estate purchase to legalize a bribe he or she has accepted.

Since 2018, the FIU has ordered 111 properties arrested, most of them are located in Riga, Pieriga and Jurmala.

At the opening event of the Notaries' Day, fraudulent real estate transactions and possible solutions were discussed.

During the Notaries' Day today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., every resident of Latvia has the opportunity to obtain an individual notary consultation on the Zoom platform. More information is available on the Council of Sworn Notaries of Latvia website