In Estonia the state is placing increasing emphasis on money laundering prevention. Therefore, companies with a duty to prevent money laundering must be prepared for more thorough and more frequent inspections to determine whether they comply with all the rules laid down by law.
Several factors point to the strengthening of state supervision in the field of anti-money laundering:
- The government has already increased the funding and team of anti-money laundering agencies and work has begun on setting up a strategic analysis function at the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU);
- the FIU, which exercises primary supervision over money laundering, will be reorganized and the institution formerly part of the Estonian Police will become a separate unit in the area of government of the Ministry of Finance. According to the current plans the new institution will be established on January 1st 2021;
- in addition to conventional banking, monitoring and analysis of developments in the field of fintech and virtual currencies is becoming increasingly important in the Financial Supervision Authority, which supervises financial supervision entities;
- the concept of administrative fines is being developed, which allows fines to be imposed in administrative proceedings and which would also allow for a more effective response to breaches of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.
Greater attention to the field of prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing is certainly due to the fact that Estonia is awaiting a new evaluation by Moneyval (the Council of Europe's expert committee on money laundering and terrorist financing) in 2021. This time Moneyval assesses how related laws and regulations are put into practice and what is the capability of institutions to deal with actually preventing money laundering.
You can read more about the obligations of companies in preventing money laundering here.