On 17 January 2008, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania passed the Law on Amending the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Prevention of Money Laundering (official gazette Valstybės Žinios, 2008, No. 10-335) (hereinafter referred to as the Law), which came into effect on 24 January 2008, except for paragraph 4 of Article 9 and paragraph 5 of Article 16 of the Law which will come into effect on 1 June 2008.
The name of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Prevention of Money Laundering, as in effect until now, was changed into the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
The list of institutions responsible for the prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing was extended. From now on, in addition to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania, the Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, the following institutions will also be responsible for the prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing: the Chamber of Notaries, the Chamber of Auditors, the Lithuanian Chamber of Execution Officers, the Lithuanian Bar Association and other institutions.
The Law provides that the above institutions must appoint executive personnel to organise the implementation of measures of prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing established by the Law and to keep in contact with the Financial Crime Investigation Service. The time limit within which the Financial Crime Investigation Service is to be informed about the appointment or replacement of the above personnel in writing has changed from now on, it must be done no later than within 7 business days. The following new measures of prevention of money laundering and/or terrorist financing have been provided for:
(i) simplified and intensified verification of the clients identity, and
(ii) (ii) regulated keeping of information.
The Law indicates that financial institutions must keep a book for registration of the clients suspicious and unusual monetary operations and transactions the sum of which is above EUR 15,000 or an equivalent amount in foreign currency, and of transfer and/or acceptance of money. It has been established that such registration books must be kept for 10 years.
The Law provides which information sources can be used in order to verify the clients identity. Also, there is a rule that data about the clients and beneficiarys identity must be regularly revised and updated.
The Law has changed the amount of the clients single cash operation or several interrelated cash operations with regard to which financial institutions performing a monetary operation must provide data confirming the clients identity and information about the monetary operation itself to the Financial Crime Investigation Service. From now on, this amount is EUR 15,000 or an equivalent amount in foreign currency.
The Law also gives an exception: it is not necessary to give the said information to the Financial Crime Investigation Service when a client of a financial institution is another financial institution or a financial institution of another Member State of the European Union.
The Law establishes requirements applicable to the protection of information presented to the Financial Crime Investigation Service. New provisions were introduced in the Law, explaining what is not regarded as providing of information to a client or other persons.
There is a new provision regulating the scope of data about the natural persons: the client performing monetary operations and transactions, his/her representative and the beneficiary.
Please note that the amounts specified in the Law in euros are converted into litas or another currency according to the official rate of exchange of euro and litas announced by the Bank of Lithuania or official rate of exchange of euro and another currency.