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Notaries and officials discuss role of notaries in money laundering prevention at seminar in Vilnius
2019-05-11 13:05

Participants of an international seminar in Vilnius ascertain that notaries and the State share the responsibility of preventing money laundering.

Representatives of notaries, governmental bodies and banks from the three Baltic States, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine had discussed the challenges of money laundering prevention and exchanged good practices during the seminar in Lithuanian capital on May 10, 2019.

Vice Minister of Justice Žydrūnas Plytnikas said in his greeting that notariat was an important part of state overall measures preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

“These threats are complex, sophisticated, it’s hard to recognize and identify them, therefore, we understand the challenges of notaries implementing the legal requirements in this sphere. That’s why we believe that notary, being a preventive judge, may contribute to implementing this important goal of the State”, Vice Minister said.

President of Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries Marius Stračkaitis said that legislators had introduced the obligatory notarial authentication of contracts vulnerable to higher risks of money laundering. Moreover, notaries in Lithuania perform more specific anti-money laundering functions, such as proper authentication of clients, providing information to Financial Crimes Investigation Service about cash transactions and suspicious contracts.

Professor Aurelijus Gutauskas, the judge of the Lithuanian Supreme Court, appreciated the added value notaries bring to money laundering prevention process.

"Nobody but notaries identify the economic beneficiaries of high-risk contracts, such as transactions of shares or real estate. Therefore, notarial authentication of contracts permits transparent documentation of them", the judge said.

The seminar was organized by Council of Notaries of European Union and Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Poland’s chambers of notaries. More than 100 participants represented notaries from abovementioned countries as well as Moldova and Ukraine, as well as representatives of Lithuanian Supreme Court, Tax Dispute Commission, Financial Crimes Investigation Service, Lithuanian Banks Association, Danske Bank and other institutions.

Photos by Martynas Ambrazas