AML Risk Management & Compliance
FIU Latvia international conference on combatting proliferation financing
On 27 – 28 May, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia (FIU Latvia) will organize an international conference on “How to improve effectiveness in IO.11?” on combatting of financing of proliferation. Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Immediate Outcome 11 is targeted on ensuring financial sanctions to prevent proliferation are adequately enforced. The conference will bring together relevant authorities, high level experts and senior practitioners from public sector worldwide to share their experience and relevant information relating to effective implementation of FATF standards on proliferation.
The MONEYVAL Committee currently evaluates 62 countries on their compliance with these FATF standards. Latvia, along with half of the countries assessed, is currently rated “low”, and the Government has prioritized improving its rating and has proposed a targeted system of financial sanctions. The FIU is intending to take advantage of global expertise on the subject to share best practice and improve performance.
Register of Enterprises asks for new powers on beneficial ownership
The Register of Enterprises has asked for greater powers to assess the information companies submit about their beneficial owners, and speed up the process of informing law enforcement agencies about potentially false information submitted to the register.
The proposed amendments oblige financial institutions (FIs) and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) to notify the Register of Enterprises if the information they have obtained during customer research on beneficial owners differs from the information listed in the register. The Register of Enterprises will then be obliged to inform law enforcement authorities of a possible criminal offense. In addition, a record will be made in the register that will alert other FIs and DNFBPs on possible mismatch of information.
The Saeima is expected to adopt the amendments by June 2019.
Latvijas Banka refines the regulatory framework for companies purchasing and selling cash foreign currency
On 28 March the Council of Latvijas Banka has updated its regulatory framework for companies purchasing and selling cash foreign currency, in line with a recommendation of the MONEYVAL committee.
Companies will now be required to disclose information on their beneficial owners to Latvijas Banka and to make specific checks to ensure that the sales are not being used to evade AML/CTF standards. Companies will be required to account for new methods of money laundering and take the requisite steps to guard against that in future transactions. Latvijas Banka has made further changes to disrupt and detect counterfeiting and to enable the better use of technology.
The adoption of these new rules marks another step forward for Latvian financial sector reform.
Finance Latvia workshop on reporting of suspicious transactions
On 4 April, the Finance Latvia organized a full-day, workshop, led by international experts from Navigant, a specialized, global professional services firm, dedicated to Suspicious Transactions Investigations and Reporting.
Navigant experts - Anna Angotti and Anne Marie Minogue - provided training on the legal basis for researching possible "red flags" that indicate suspicious transactions. They also described ways to identify and document potentially illegal transactions. The experts further outlined how to develop research and investigation plans from information on suspicious transactions.
The workshop was attended by 72 participants – Finance Latvia members, participants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvijas Banka, the FCMC, the State Revenue Service, FIU Latvia, the State Police, the State Security Service, the Constitution Protection Bureau and the Register of Enterprises.
See video from the workshop