On July 14, 2022, in Riga, Latvia, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia (FIU Latvia) received an international award BECA (Best Egmont Case Award 2022), for exceptional work in the field of financial intelligence in the competition of 19 countries. The award was presented during the 28th Egmont Group Plenary.
The Egmont Group was established in 1995 to improve communication, information sharing, and training coordination amongst its FIU members. Today Egmont Group unites 166 Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). FIU Latvia joined Egmont Group in 1999.
The BECA initiative was designed in 2011 to encourage Egmont members to contribute to the Egmont Group’s money laundering and terrorist financing case database to benefit FIUs and stakeholders in anti-money laundering/combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). BECA is an annual award given to the FIU which demonstrates exceptional work in a case which is both interesting and educative.
“Receiving the award is international recognition and assessment of our work, increasing Latvia’s reputation as a financially secure country. In the context of the current global geopolitical situation, we can assess what has been achieved in the previous years because the financial institutions know their clients better, and it is relatively easy to apply sanctions. The award confirms that FIU Latvia is a reliable cooperation partner and our knowledge and experience are valued internationally. As the criminal world continues to evolve, creating new threats, the recognition encourages us to continue to be proactive in the field of AML,” emphasizes FIU Latvia Acting Head Toms Platacis.
The number of submitted cases for the BECA increases every year – 32 cases from 19 FIUs worldwide were submitted for the competition, and this is the largest number of submitted cases in the award’s history. The FIUs of Latvia and Italy entered the BECA final this year.
The case submitted by Latvia earned recognition due to the volume, complexity of the case, the innovative financial intelligence methods and the developed international cooperation network. In 2021, the award was won by Israel’s Financial Intelligence Unit (IMPA).
To participate in the competition, FIUs must submit an application outlining the most significant case or cases, reflecting the complexity of it, the competence of the FIU in the investigation of the case, and providing insight into the financial intelligence process.
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units connects FIUs across the globe and provides a secure platform for exchanging expertise and financial intelligence to combat international money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia is an independent authority whose responsibility lies in preventing money laundering in Latvia and eliminating the possibility of using the Latvian financial system to launder money or finance terrorism.
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