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Tõniste: Risk Assessments of Special Committee and Government Commission Coincide

28. February 2019 - 17:27

The Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance of the European Parliament (TAX3) approved its recommendations for the achievement of a more honest and effective tax environment.

The draft report, which will be submitted to the plenary session of the European Parliament for approval, summarises the Committee’s work, which lasted a year.

Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste said that the Special Committee must be recognised for their thorough work and proposals. “Money laundering is a crime international by nature and thus not a specific problem of a particular country. The draft report states this as well. I thus fully agree with the report's conclusion that international cooperation and extensive data exchange are key issues in anti-money laundering,” Finance Minister Tõniste said.

The report also focused on new international risks in money laundering. Separate attention has been given to issues related to virtual currencies.

Tõniste added that the Estonian Anti-Money Laundering Government Commission highlighted the relevant risks in the report it presented last year. “The government also has presented the Estonian parliament with draft legislative amendments for the establishment of stricter requirements for issuing virtual currency authorisations. But unfortunately the current parliament did not pass them as law and thus the task falls on the next parliament, convened after elections in March. This year, the Ministry of Finance will carry out a more detailed analysis of this area within the scope of a national risk assessment,” Finance Minister Tõniste said. 

The representatives of the European Parliament Special Committee visited Estonia in early February and met with the representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Supervision Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Central Criminal Police, the Office of the Prosecutor General and the media.

Late last year, the Estonian Anti-Money Laundering Government Commission submitted a thorough analysis of and proposals for more efficient prevention of money laundering. The proposals concern both the institutional and legal frameworks of AML.

Two expert working groups were formed. One of them is tasked with coming up with proposals for improving the institutional framework, including a system of analysis and monitoring, issues of cooperation and resources. The second working group will present proposals on the legal framework of supervision and penalties. Both working groups are to submit their proposals in March and the relevant draft legislation in June.

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