Financial regulator issues fine, money-laundering warning to payment company

Take note – story published 6 years ago

Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK)  has issued a fine to a money transfer company and issued a warning about the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.  

"The Board of the Financial and Capital Market Commission has decided to apply a fine of EUR 7 280.70 to Baltic Payment Solutions Ltd, while warning the person responsible for the implementation of the requirements for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing," FKTK said in a statement dated March 26. 

"FKTK has imposed a number of legal obligations [on the company] to remedy the detected violations and shortcomings," the regulator added, without specifying exactly what they constituted.

The fines and legal obligations were imposed for violation of the requirements of the Law on Payment Services and Electronic Money and Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention found during FKTK checks. 

Baltic Payment Solutions has undertaken to suspend the provision of payment services, except to merchants and service providers registered in Latvia on terminals located in Latvia. It will not be allowed to return to making international payments until it has received certification from FKTK.

The move comes as Latvia's financial sector is attempting to restore its credibility amid a series of financial sector scandals that have seen it characterized in international media as a money-laundering hub of global significance. 

According to its website Baltic Payment Solutions is based in Riga and was licensed by FKTK on September 16, 2015 as an approved payment institution.

"Today, the company is a market leader in offering subscribers a convenient, secure and reliable mobile operator, Internet provider, and a form of payment for commercial TV  services" as well as "for the replenishment of accounts of external payment systems, contributions to charitable funds, payments to utilities, as well as many other goods and services," the website says.

Despite displaying the logos of many Latvian and Russian banks as well as other brands in Latvia, Russia and Belarus on its web pages, it does not seem to have updated its website with news since 2015 and at the time of writing there is no mention of the restrictions placed upon the company. A map shows the company has several payment terminals in Riga plus one in Liepāja and one in Daugavpils. 

It also has on-site links to other online payment platforms such as PayPal, Qiwi Wallet and WebMoney.

According to the information in FKTK's list of payment providers, the chairman of Baltic Payment Solutions is Igor Ivchenko and member of the board is Zara Srapyan. Latvia's business register records that Baltic Payment Solutions has paid capital of just over 1 million euros. 

According to the register the company was previously called Qiwi Baltic from 2010-14.

A similarly named company, Qiwi Wallet is also licensed to provide services in Latvia by FKTK and has its head office in Romania.


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