On Wednesday, 8 June, the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee discussed introducing legal provisions for identifying actual beneficiaries.
“Undoubtedly, we need regulations so that law-enforcement agencies can find out, if necessary, the actual beneficiary regardless of attempts to hide behind various intermediary offshore companies. However, MPs doubt that incorporating such regulations in the Commercial Law, as proposed by the Ministry of Justice, would be the wisest course,” stressed Arvils Ašeradens, Deputy Chairman of the Committee.
“Very soon the Committee will return to this matter in order to seek the best solution,” explained Ašeradens. He pointed out: “Today we were perplexed by the inability of the relevant institutions to answer questions about the practice of other European countries; therefore, we asked the Ministry of Justice to prepare a summary of how other countries have solved this problem.”
Viesturs Burkāns, Director of the Office for Money Laundering Prevention, reported that the annual turnover of the global shadow economy is LVL 1.4 trillion, part of which is legalised through entrepreneurship. This is why the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued recommendations and suggested creating in all countries centralised registers of actual beneficiaries.
At today’s meeting, the Committee rejected the proposal of MP Andris Šķēle (For a Good Latvia) to delete the paragraph about actual beneficiaries from the Draft Law on the Amendments to the Commercial Law. Members of the Committee also agreed to continue discussions on which law would be suitable for incorporating these provisions.
MP Dzintars Zaķis (Unity) stated that the current version of the proposal should be revised by changing its wording and specifying which commercial companies are exempt from the requirement to disclose actual beneficiaries.
Saeima Press Service