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Saturday 21.07.2018 | Name days: Meldra, Meldris, Melisa
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Latvian government to increase fight against money laundering and terrorism funding

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe government has supported amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing intended to adapt European Parliament’s and European Commission’s fourth money laundering and terrorist financing prevention directive, as reported by Finance Ministry.

The ministry’s prepared amendments provide a number of measures to improve the fight with money laundering and terrorism financing. ‘Realising measures detailed in the legislative draft, we will come closer to the government’s strategic goal – improvement of the reputation of Latvia’s financial sector and the capabilities of the country’s authorities to combat money laundering and terrorism financing schemes,’ representatives explain the need for amendments.

At the same time, the legislative drafts provides for changing client assessment structure. Instead of dividing client identification and evaluation, it is planned to combine those procedures in accordance with requirements of the directive. New regulations also provide a decreased threshold from which client evaluation is to be performed. Cases of interest to authorities include transactions that exceed EUR 1,000, a purchase or sale transaction in foreign currency at EUR 1,500, as well as transactions performed by lottery or gambling organizers with clients at EUR 2,000, the ministry reports.

The legislative draft also details potential risk-reducing factors for simplified client evaluation. For example, state companies are considered businesses with potentially low risks. The document also clarifies geographical risk factors. For example, the EU is considered a region with potentially low risk.

Other risk factors, on the other hand, are increased. This applies to transactions performed using cash money (high risk), private banking services and transactions in countries that do not have effective measures of opposing money laundering and terrorism financing, ministry representatives explain.

In accordance with requirements of the directive, the definition of a true beneficiary is to be expanded in accordance with international standards. This means private persons that have ownership rights over businesses and perform control over businesses are to be considered true beneficiaries.

The ministry also states that amendments will help compile a list of countries that require improvements for legislative regulations to better combat money laundering and terrorism financing activities.

In accordance with the directive, the legislative draft also includes a definition for virtual currencies. It is also stated in the document that the State Revenue Service has to perform monitoring over virtual currency trade service providers to prevent possible money laundering and terrorism financing.

For the legislative draft to come into force, it has to be approved by the Saeima.

Ref: 225.109.109.5602


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