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RIGA - Serious work is ongoing in Latvia to deal with the issues identified in the report of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), the European Commission’s Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview to Latvian Television this morning.
“Things are changing. We see that the Control Service (Latvian Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity), the agency tasked with combating money laundering, is being strengthened. The share of nonresident clients in Latvian banks has been significantly reduced. It is also good that tackling these problems identified in the Moneyval report is among the priorities of the new Krisjanis Karins-led government,” Valdis Dombrovskis said.
Asked if the next Moneyval report on Latvia is likely to be positive, Dombrovskis said that this question should be asked to Moneyval but that it was obvious that the Latvian government was working hard to correct the situation. “What is obvious in my view is that both the previous and current government of Latvia have been working seriously to correct the situation. I suppose this should be taken into consideration. It is also necessary to consider how quickly the measures can be technically implemented,” the EU commissioner said.
As reported, Moneyval has placed Latvia in enhanced follow-up procedure because of the number of Low and Moderate ratings awarded for Effectiveness. Two areas were considered to have low levels of effectiveness - relevant beneficial ownership information and preventing proliferation financing.