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Lithuanian Financial Intelligence Arm Lists Several Crypto Firms as New AML Violators

Sujha Sundararajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Pixabay / Sergei Tokmakov

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FNTT) of Lithuania has released a new list of anti-money laundering (AML) violators, featuring several crypto service providers in the country.

Lithuania is fast becoming a significant player in the European digital asset market, with its progressive approach to the asset class. The country launched a new regulation for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), early this year, which saw an increased influx of crypto-related businesses.

The list, released Wednesday, included crypto firms in the country and financial firms, believed to have breached the AML regulation. The law provides a framework that stipulates the mandatory requirements of financial institutions and businesses to monitor, detect, prevent and report illegal activities.

The regulation required companies to collect, evaluate, and submit all necessary information related to suspicious transactions, frauds and other signs of money laundering to Lithuania’s Financial Crimes Investigation Service (FCIS).

Additionally, the registered digital asset firms operating in the country must employ a full-time AML compliance officer, who is qualified for the role.

The FNTT’s list included crypto companies Spectro Finance and Bitgron, which were issued warnings and BXChange, Kaiser Exchange International, Entara, Stirdena, and Katren, which requires to pay a fine of up to 1.1 million Euros, for avoiding or violating the AML rules.

The listed companies can also appeal in the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court within one month of receipt of the decision, the intelligence arm noted.

“An appeal to court shall not suspend the enforcement of a decision, except for a decision to impose the penalties laid down in this Lawn.”

Policymakers in the Baltic nation are rushing to address risks to the financial system posed by crypto exchanges and operators after an influx of business registrations.

Per the rules laid out in new anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing legislation, the country mandated companies to meet fresh transparency and supervision requirements.

Lithuania is home to numerous crypto firms including Bifinity UAB, payments provider for the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance. Bifinity became Lithuania’s second biggest contributor of corporate tax last year, the tax authority noted.