Over 600 Latvia-registered businesses face sanctions for hiding their owners

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-16 01:54:36|Editor: yan
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RIGA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- There are 660 Latvia-registered high-risks companies that can soon face sanctions for a failure to disclose their beneficial owners to the Baltic country's authorities as required by law, Guna Paidere, chief notary of the Latvian business registry, said on public radio Thursday.

The chief notary said that the owners of these 660 high-risk enterprises are legal entities registered in foreign countries.

With the deadline for these companies to disclose their beneficial owners nearing, the business registry has issued a warning. If the secretive businesses still do not provide the required information, the business registry will take action to shut down these companies.

If it goes smoothly, the process might take around three months, Paidere said.

The Latvian Register of Enterprises has already registered the beneficial owners of some 90,000 companies in line with the law allowing such registrations based on available data. This, in Paidere's words, shows that Latvia's business environment is generally transparent.

The requirement for businesses to disclose their actual owners is effective in Latvia since March 2018. It was introduced as part of the Latvian government's efforts to clamp down on money laundering and financing of terrorism.