Government aims to transfer financial intelligence unit to finance ministry ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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The "Superministry" complex in Tallinn, which houses the finance ministry. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The government wants to bring the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), currently part of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) under the finance ministry's control.

The cabinet said it supported the proposal at its regular Thursday sitting; spokespersons said the proposal would bring the FIU under finance ministry control and organizationally away from the PPA.

The bill which would make the transition legal is aimed at improving the fight against money laundering, the government said, and guaranteeing the legal certainty of information shared with other institutions.

While this bill, if it passes at the Riigikogu, would come into effect on January 1 2021, the aspect concerning the signatory power relating to the transfer of officials would enter into force on November 23 – in other words personnel could be moved into the finance ministry's orbit ahead of the full bill becoming law.

The bill also seeks to clarify the regulations regarding the signing of agreements and administrative acts before its in-force date, BNS reports.

The FIU is also responsible for detecting potential financing of terrorist groups.

Estonia was at the center of several large-scale money laundering cases last year, the most prominent among them concerning cashflows estimated at €230 billion, said to have passed through the portals of the now-defunct Danske Bank in Tallinn, between 2007 and 2015.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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