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Monday 17.02.2020 | Name days: Konstance, Donats
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FKTK lists exceptions in which banks are allowed to service Aivars Lembergs

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Aivars Lembergs, sanctions, FKTK, restrictions, instructions, importantLatvian Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) has listed cases in which Latvia’s finance market participants will be allowed to service Aivars Lembergs, who is subjected to US OFAC sanctions and accused of serious crimes, and three organizations associated with him – Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association.

With new instructions banks will be able to provide financial services and complete financial transactions for Lembergs, Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association without having to ask permission from FKTK. What is outlined in the coordinated instructions also applies to the persons subjected to financial restrictions associated with EU and NATO member states’ sanctions.

FKTK’s permission will not be necessary for banks to provide services needed to process legal persons’ economic operations and transactions of private persons and their family members.

Private persons will be able to pay for food, housing rent, medicine, medical services, utilities, pay taxes and state fees, as well as pay for compulsory insurance services. Additionally it is permitted to pay off loans the person had taken before ending up under sanctions, as well as pay child care benefits. This person will also be allowed to receive wage.

Legal persons will be allowed to pay for rent, annual audits, maintenance and repairs, transport costs associated with economic operations, procurement of clothes for work and its maintenance, territory and building maintenance, procurement of equipment and machineries, as well as prevention of consequences of disasters.

Read also: BNN investigation | Raunas street property: quiet assistant with a «secret wallet» for Lembergs

FKTK adds – it is expected for financial institutions to perform additional checks before processing each transaction to see if the procured service is considered an exception and if the transaction is not at risk of breaching or circumventing sanctions.

Transactions that do not meet specific criteria will require a separate permission from FKTK.

On 9 December 2019, based on the so-called Magnitsky Law, OFAC imposed sanctions against Aivars Lembergs and four legal persons associated with him – Ventspils Freeport Authority, Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association – for corruption.

In response to Ventspils Freeport’s addition to the list of sanctions, Latvia’s Saeima amended laws to put both Riga Freeport and Ventspils Freeport under state management. On 17 December the government supported Transport Ministry’s proposal to create a new state company to manage Ventspils port’s territory and operations.

On 18 December, OFAC announced removal of sanctions from Ventspils Freeport and Ventspils Freeport authority.

Sanctions were removed from Ventspils Freeport after Aivars Lembergs stepped down from the freeport’s board and Latvian government executed measures to put an end to his influence over the court, according to the press-statement from the US Department of the Treasury.

After the application of sanctions, a number of members decided to leave Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association.

On top of that, Lembergs was forced to step down from several high-ranking posts in a number of organizations, such as Latvian Olympic Committee’s executive committee and Ventspils Basketball Club.


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