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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 09.03.2021, 05:53

The Financial Sector Development Council has approved an action plan to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism

BC, Riga, 11.09.2018.Print version
The Financial Sector Development Council, supported by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, has approved an action plan to strengthen Latvia’s anti-money laundering capabilities, and its ability to combat the financing of terrorism and weapons proliferation.

The action plan outlines steps Latvia must take immediately to demonstrate significant progress on the recommendations of the 5th Round Evaluation Report of the Council of Europe's Moneyval Committee on the effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) measures.

The Financial Sector Development Council assessed the results of the previous plan, which outlined steps to fight money laundering and terrorist financing for the period 2017-2019.  They then developed a new action plan to significantly strengthen Latvia's AML/CTF and anti-proliferation capabilities.

The current plan addresses all 11 areas identified in the Moneyval report in which the Latvian government needed to improve its effectiveness:

  1. Policy and Coordination;
  2. International Cooperation;
  3. Supervision;
  4. Preventive Measures;
  5. Legal persons and arrangements;
  6. Financial Intelligence;
  7. Money Laundering Investigations and Prosecutions;
  8. Confiscation;
  9. Terrorist Financing Investigation and Prosecution;
  10. Terrorist Financing Preventive Measures and Financial Sanctions;
  11. Proliferation of Financial Sanctions.

The action plan is designed to achieve the following:

  • Strengthen significantly the awareness of relevant public sector institutions and the private sector r about the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing;
  • Increase the capacity of supervisory authorities;
  • Carry out targeted inspections of the supervisory authorities, prioritising high-risk activities;
  • Improve preventive measures;
  • Improve the availability of information for customer research;
  • Review the reporting system for unusual and suspicious transactions;
  • Develop guidelines that will ensure a unified approach to investigating the laundering of proceeds derived from criminal activity and the provision of the necessary evidence;
  • Develop a report on the risks of financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
  • Improve institutional and private sector understanding of targeted financial sanctions.

The action plans builds on the progress Latvia has made over the past three years on strengthening its regulatory framework on AML/CTF, as well as its monitoring and control systems. Latvia has reduced risk in the financial sector by ceasing business with high-risk shell companies, improving access to information about beneficial owners, and strengthening the law on international and national sanctions, and overhauled the structure of the Financial Intelligence Unit.

The implementation of the action plan will require additional resources from the state budget. The Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia will meet in the upcoming weeks to review and approve the action plan.


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