Latvian revenue service to start inspecting suspected cash smugglers

As of 1 July 2019, the State Revenue Service (VID) will have the right to check persons on public roads to make sure that sums above 10 000 euro in undeclared cash are not being brought into the country. These inspections, however, will be based on operative information and VID does not intend to inspect everyone, said Ieva Jaunzeme, the Director-General of the State Revenue Service in an interview with latvian Radio on June 27.

She emphasized that those with legal income have nothing to fear. If a person withdraws 10 000 euros in cash, the bank will “report this faster than you can imagine,” said Jaunzeme.

She explained that persons with legal income who, for example, withdraw cash and travel to a different country to buy a car, “has nothing to worry about. […] We are concerned with the operative information we have about criminal activities and criminal groups who use [large sums of] cash for other purposes than the purchase of a vehicle”.

She noted that the operative information at VID's disposal mostly concerns large sums of cash being brought across the border to pay “envelope wages”. “Until now, we had no right to inspect people on the spot and we also had to prove that source of the money was legal. Now, we have the opposite obligation,” said Jaunzeme.

According to the amendment to the law that comes into force on July 1, it is incumbent upon the person to prove the legal source of the money rather than VID.

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