A valuable tool has been developed to detect and investigate corruption

10.12.2021

On the International Anti-Corruption day, December 9, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia (FIU Latvia) published a document entitled “Corruption indicators and case studies” developed in close cooperation with the private sector and law enforcement agencies.

It has been acknowledged that corruption on national and municipality level level poses a high money laundering threats,* thus, the material will be a valuable tool in the further work of credit institutions and law enforcement authorities in detecting and investigating corruption.

 

In 2021, the FIU Latvia established a public-private partnership – cooperation coordination group** - to bring together experts from the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Prosecution Office of the Republic of Latvia and major credit institutions for joint and regular work in order to develop a common understanding of corruption at all stages, from the detection of a suspicious transaction to the conviction.

 

As a result, a document “Corruption indicators and case studies”” has been developed, which summarises indicators of corruption and/or money laundering, as well as provides analyses of specific corruption cases. The document analyses case studies compiled by foreign countries and international organisations, as well as cases of corruption detected in Latvia.

 

“Latvia is able to carry out significant and high-quality reforms, as well as use innovative tools in the fight against financial crimes. The establishment of such a cooperation platform confirms that, bringing together representatives of both, law enforcement and private sector – in this case - credit institutions – can lead to a significant result in less than a year. This document will serve as guidelines for building common understanding in the fight against corruption. It will be useful to both, private and public sector, in their daily work for several purposes – starting from verification of historical transactions and leading to prevention and combating of corruption”, Ilze Znotiņa, Head of FIU Latvia.

“The financial sector is directly exposed to the risk of transactions related to corruption, so it is essential to take a risk-based approach and be proactive. This includes the need to identify and see in a timely manner possible way in which the financial system could be illegally used to carry out transactions related to corruption, as well as to strengthen the knowledge of stakeholders to detect such cases. The methodological material will be an important tool in the fight against corruption, both for organisations representing and supervising the financial sector and for the law enforcement authorities”, indicates Jēkabs Straume, Head of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

 

The Prosecution Office notes that the document developed by the cooperation coordination group (public-private partnership) will promote a broader understanding of corruption offences among investigative institutions and will contribute to successful and effective inter-institutional cooperation, thus ensuring justice and lawfulness.

 

Inese Tauriņa, Executive Director of the Transparency International Latvia “Delna” approves the following cooperation model: “In order to combat corruption more successfully, it is necessary to go beyond the usual forms of cooperation. Law enforcement authorities and investigation institutions must find a way to increase their strength, by including Latvian financial sector players, such as banks. Banks and other financial sector institutions are often the only ones to identify suspicious transactions. Therefore, it is important that we all have a common understanding of what a "suspicious transaction" is. Only that way we can be sure that nothing will slip by.”

 

Since December 9, the document “Corruption indicators and case studies” in Latvian is  available on the FIU Latvia website www.fid.gov.lv. The FIU Latvia will shortly provide the document in English.

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*According to National ML/TF/PF risk assessment (available on FIU Latvia website).

**The Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (Article 55(2)) provides legal basis of cooperation coordination group (public-private partnership).

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