Fight against money laundering to intensify

Finance Minister Martin Helme and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
Finance Minister Martin Helme and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The government said it would further intensify and combat money laundering at its Cabinet sitting on Thursday after it received an overview of developments in the prevention of money laundering.

Prime Minister Juri Ratas described combating money laundering as being of utmost importance for Estonia. He said the reliability of the economic environment is one of the main pillars of a country's wealth and competitiveness.

"Today we received an overview of the developments in the field and also looked at future risks. We have decided to finance the anti-money laundering capability of the Police and Border Guard Board additionally with €1.6 million and the prosecutor's office with €300,000 in 2020. We are also planning to update our area of justice. The government will move forward forcefully with anti-money laundering activities," Ratas said.

Finance Minister Martin Helme said when it comes to legislation, the government intends to endorse several legislative drafts over the coming month that are necessary for the introduction of the European Union's anti-money laundering directive (AMLD V) in January 2020.

In connection with that, Estonia wishes to substantially toughen penalties for money laundering related misdemeanours as well as to expand the circle of people who must take into account in their activities the requirements of the anti-money laundering law. 

Estonia is due for a new evaluation by Moneyval, the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, in the coming few years. This time it will be assessing how Estonia implements different laws and regulations in practice and what its institutions actual capability for combating money laundering.

"Preparing for the international evaluation of money laundering risks is very important for Estonia, as based on it many parties will be making conclusions about our state and its business environment," Helme said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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