March 29, 2023
U.S. Ambassador George P. Kent gave opening remarks at the March 29 Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Conference in Tallinn, where he stressed the importance of strong sanctions enforcement and ratcheting up pressure to cut off revenues supporting Russia’s war machine and protect international financial systems.
“The Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit is making the financial sector safer in Estonia, benefitting the entire world,” Ambassador Kent said. “In today’s world, with money transfers, crypto trading, and cybercrimes moving faster than you can swipe your phone, having a well-functioning and effective FIU is essential in safeguarding a country’s financial system. Estonia is a trusted and dependable partner for the United States, and we will continue to seize every opportunity available to work closely with you, and to support you.”
The FIU conference comes following the recent conclusion of Moneyval’s mutual evaluation, which assessed Estonia’s anti-money laundering and countering of financial terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, and determined Estonia has strong international cooperation and FIU capabilities. Ambassador Kent noted Estonia still has important work to do to strengthen its capacity to prevent, detect, and prosecute financial crimes.
The United States is committed to supporting Estonia in its fight against financial crimes, as we work together to enhance global security. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has a full-time economic crimes advisor embedded within the FIU to further build its capacity and to strengthen Estonia’s overall AML/CFT regime. The U.S. Department of Justice Regional Legal Advisor works with law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges from across the Baltic states to help combat transnational crimes. In February 2023, the United States Secret Service office in Tallinn, in close collaboration with the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, opened a computer forensics academy to train law enforcement officers from across the Baltic states to combat transnational crimes.