Ilze Znotiņa will now fix Lithuania and Estonia

The Financial Intelligence Unit will create a new information analysis supercenter, which will allow pursuing the people of Latvia and suspicious money also in the near abroad - Lithuania, Estonia and also Scandinavia. The government has allocated more than ten million euros from the European Union's recovery and resilience mechanism available to Latvia to strengthen the rule of law and investigate economic crimes.
12.11.2021. Imants Vīksne
©FID publicitātes foto

For the time being, the pet project of the head of FIU Ilze Znotiņa - the Anti-Money Laundering Innovation Hub (AMLIH) - still exists only on paper, but one and a half million euros have already been earmarked for its creation. Not much is known publicly about the functions of the proposed institution or body.

To catch the toxic Latvians

On the FIU website, the hub is mentioned only in passing in two similar articles: "FIU management meets with Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit" and "FIU visits Lithuania to discuss current cooperation and future plans". But in the future plans of the FIU, this hub is given a great deal of influence, and especially in relation to Estonia and Lithuania - to catch the potentially toxic population of Latvia:

“During the meeting, the establishment of AMLIH (Anti-Money Laundering Innovation Hub) in Latvia was also discussed. AMLIH is a unique project whose vision is to promote the use of information technology, innovation, and artificial intelligence in the financial intelligence process. As a result, it is planned to establish an AML Innovation Hub based in Latvia, which would bring together Baltic experts in the field of financial intelligence to exchange examples of good practice, cooperate in the implementation of joint projects and develop cooperation in the prevention of money laundering at the Baltic level.”

FIU has chosen to distribute more information about the future supercenter in a publication paid for by the Media Support Fund in the newspaper “Latvijas Bizness”, which is available to a limited circle of readers.


AMLIH functions

In short, AMLIH or NANIC in Latvian (Naudas atmazgāšanas novēršanas inovāciju centrs) will have three functions. 1) Creating a secure communication channel for national law enforcement agencies, 2) strategic analysis using artificial intelligence solutions 3) communication and coordination of cooperation between institutions. It follows from Ilze Znotiņa's quote that Lithuania and Estonia will be most directly affected by this third function:

"Currently, it is not the case that everything will be resolved by fixing only Latvia. There are many companies in Estonia founded by Latvian entrepreneurs, and Latvian residents and companies actively use the services of Lithuanian payment institutions. Therefore, without co-operation and data exchange, it is not possible to ensure the investigation of financial crimes at least at the Baltic level.”

Apart from this publication with limited availability, the only official source for more detailed information on the establishment of the AMLIH is the Cabinet of Ministers' Order on the Latvian Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism Plan, which approves this plan.

FIU will automate criminal proceedings

The total amount allocated in the section “Justice and Investigation of Economic Crimes” of the Latvian Recovery Plan is 10,096,040 euros, of which 1,474,010 euros have been earmarked for the establishment of AMLIH. The justification is as follows:

“The implementation of the Data Acquisition and Analysis System, strengthened by the amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism and Proliferation Financing, will result in the establishment of the AML Innovation Hub and the subsequent 0% to 100% increase in the volume of financial and economic crime cases referred to electronic criminal investigations, improving the identification of money laundering through the continuous transfer of knowledge from research to financial intelligence based on data analysis and typologies within a secure public-private partnership platform."

Thus, in predicate financial crimes, where the presumption of innocence is lifted and investigators do not need evidence for nationalization of money, outsourced analytical computer programs will also be used for modeling and analyzing possible crimes. Lawyers and their clients are unlikely to be happy about it.

Proving the legal origin of money is already as difficult as possible, but it will be even harder to talk to robots.

The new AML unit will open in the spring of next year, and will be fully operational in 2024.


Investment Establishment of an AML Innovation Hub to improve the identification of money laundering. The implementation of the investment related to the strengthening of the capacity to identify money laundering, terrorism or proliferation will take place through the following activities:

  1. Creation/equipping of research halls and strategic communication space;
  2. Development of a secure technologically equipped platform for knowledge exchange, transfer and communication;
  3. Establishment of interconnections between the parties involved, ensuring the protection of information, and adaptation of the FIU system for data exchange, communication at both national and international level, preventing epidemiological conditions from influencing the fight against ML (technology and network security solutions); establishment, coordination and management of JIT (joint investigation team) and JAT (joint analysis team).
  4. Data analysis and development of control algorithms for defining problems and selecting mathematical models.
  5. Development of a technological analytical platform for the analysis of hypotheses.


Order of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 292 in Riga, April 28, 2021 (Protocol No. 36 § 27) On the Plan of the Latvian Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism


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