The meeting of the Government Committee on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, held on Tuesday, 4th of February, approved the action plan for the preparation of the Moneyval evaluation.
In the fall of the year 2021, Estonia faces a new evaluation by Moneyval - the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism. The government committee therefore thoroughly discussed the state of the preparations and approved an action plan for the preparation for the evaluation.
Moneyval will assess at the evaluation taking place this time how we implement different laws and regulations in practice and what is the actual ability of our institutions to tackle money laundering. It is very important to have a systematic and substantive preparation for the Moneyval evaluation, according to the head of the government committee, Minister of Finance Martin Helme. "We must make an effort as a state, because much remains to be done. We must not underestimate the potential risk that Estonia may be included in the list of countries under enhanced supervision in the prevention of money laundering. This has its own very negative consequences for the international reputation of the country, for the financial environment, as well as for the associated administrative burden", said Helme.
The members of the committee also received an overview of the activities of the Financial Supervision Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Prosecutor's Office about their activities in the recent months concerning the investigations of various money laundering cases. It is important, according to the Minister of Finance Martin Helme that the committee has a regular and up-to-date overview of the state of the ongoing investigations into money laundering cases.
The government committee received, concerning the development of the legislative framework, an overview of the state of transposition of the EU's Money Laundering Prevention Directive (AMLD V). All legislation drafts needed to transpose the directive were approved by the government last year. The stricter legislation on the licenses for virtual currencies was passed by the Riigikogu last year, while the other legislative acts necessary to improve the efficiency of the prevention of money laundering are in the Riigikogu for their second reading. These draft laws, according to the plan, will be passed by the Riigikogu in the coming months.
The activities of the Government Committee on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing include the formulation of the policy on money laundering and prevention of terrorism, as well as coordinating the mapping of national risks and devising an action plan for their mitigation. The committee consists of representatives of several ministries, tax and customs authorities, the public prosecutor's office, police authorities, the Bank of Estonia and the Financial Supervision Authority.