AML Risk Management & Compliance
FCMC Board adopts methodology for screening ABLV Bank customers
On 6 March, the Board of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) approved a methodology for screening the customers of ABLV Bank in liquidation, submitted by the liquidators of the Bank and already approved by the FIU.
A team from EY developed the methodology to prevent possible money laundering and violation or circumvention of sanctions compliance provisions in the course of pay-outs to the ABLV Bank's customers.
A group of FCMC-authorised officials will soon carry out an on-site inspection of the ABLV Bank as part of the implementation of the methodology to ensure compliance with the new requirements laid down.
More information about ABLV Bank’s liquidation process
FIU triples asset freezes during the second half of 2018
Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity (FIU Latvia) has significantly improved its results during the H2 2018. According to the statistics compiled by FIU, the organization froze EUR 79.1 million from 1 June 2018 till 31 December 2018 – triple the amount frozen between 1 January 2018 and 31 May 2018 (EUR 22.8 million). This is due to a more streamlined internal process, intended to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in line with Latvia’s risk profile.
In total, the FIU froze EUR 101.5 million in 2018, more than twice the amount frozen in 2017 (EUR 45.6 million).
The FIU’s annual report will provide more detailed information shortly.
Police refer 36 cases of money laundering for prosecution in 2018
Pēteris Bauska, director of the Economic Crime Prevention Department of State Police, announced that his institution had referred 36 cases of money laundering for prosecution, 15 more than a year ago. Nine of these 36 cases were referred to foreign authorities for further investigation.
Bauska stressed that the Economic Crime Prevention Department is in the process of recruiting more analysts and investigators, to strengthen its capacity in line with the recommendations of the MONEYVAL report.
Disclosure of beneficial owners nears completion
Since 1 December 2017, all legal entities have had to register their beneficial owners in the Register of Enterprises. From that date, new legal entities, or entities who have changed ownership or board structure, cannot be registered if they do not provide information on their beneficial owners.
All legal entities who had registered before the new requirements came into force had to disclose their beneficial owners by1 March 2018. According to the latest data, around 96% companies have complied with this requirement. As part of this activity, the Enterprise Register struck off 22,000 economically inactive companies. The Enterprise Register is issuing warnings to the remaining 1,800 limited liability companies, who have not disclosed their beneficial owners and whose legal owners are other legal entities established abroad. The companies that do not disclose their beneficial owners by 1 August 2019 will be terminated.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs seminar on sanctions compliance
On 11 March 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a public seminar for lawyers and regulators titled “Sanctions in Latvia: Application and Compliance”. Representatives of the MFA presented new guidelines for sanctions compliance, which had been published on 8 March. They will be available in English shortly.