Announcement postponed on Latvia's new anti-money laundering chief

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Although the most suitable candidate has been selected from a long list of applicants to head Latvia's dedicated state anti-money laundering department (Control Service), the successful applicant has asked for more time to decide if he or she actually wants the job, Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers told reporters May 7.

Kalnmeiers did not disclose the name of the selected candidate, but acknowledged that the person was not from the Control Service, which would rule out the incumbent, Viesturs Burkans.

The Attorney General said that at the end of April he met with the two strongest candidates in the selection contest and one person in the competition who received the most points during the selction process was offered the post. 

After initially agreeing to make a joint statement and introduce the winner to the public today, the potential new anti-money laundering official then requested a bit more time to think things over, Kalnmeiers told reporters, adding that he hoped to call another press conference in perhaps two weeks to make a fresh announcement.

In the event that the selected job applicant refuses the offer, the job will not automatically go to the second-placed candidate - believed to be Burkans, according to LTV sources - but the whole process of application will have to be started afresh.

If that does prove to be the case, it will be a cause for concern for officials as Latvia is racing to display its commitment to countering money-laundering ahead of the compilation of a crucial Moneyval report in July. The first application process lasted from early March until today, and another two-month process would risk hitting the Moneyval deadline without having an anti-money laundering chief in place.

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