The Estonian government on Thursday endorsed and forwarded to the Riigikogu a bill amending the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act that would substantially complement existing opportunities to prevent money laundering and increase protections for whistleblowers.
The bill will set out a legislative framework for the establishment of a register of bank accounts on the basis of the existing electronic seizure system and enable the Financial Intelligence Unit's access to it, the Government Communication Unit said.
In addition, the circle of obligated persons will be expanded, and a legal mechanism established for improving the quality of the database of beneficiaries. This change is important for more broadly increasing the transparency of the Estonian business environment.
The bill will lay out the basis for the establishment of a list of politically exposed persons in Estonia to whom stepped-up requirements would apply in the prevention of money laundering. Such persons include government ministers, members of the Riigikogu (MPs), heads of various constitutional and state institutions, as well as members of the governing boards of political parties.
It will also increase protections for whistleblowers, as well as expand the circle of persons who, in their actions, must take into account requirements related to the prevention of money laundering.
The explanatory remarks accompanying the bill describe the adoption thereof as an important step by Estonia in transposing the European Union's 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5).
Editor: Aili Vahtla