The report of the study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the cooperation and coordination mechanism between the State Police Departments and other institutions involved in the investigation of economic crimes has been published. The study evaluates the progress achieved so far in Latvia in the field of combatting of economic and financial crimes, at the same time also highlighting the areas that require attention.
In the national risk assessments of many countries, the OECD identifies economic crimes committed by international organized crime as one of the main risks, and in the conducted research helps the parties to identify gaps and provide recommendations on how to improve cooperation and coordination mechanisms at the intergovernmental and cross-institutional level for more effective investigation of such crimes.
The study took place during the time period from the beginning of 2021 until 30 June 2022 within the framework of the project “Support to the State Police for increasing effectiveness and quality of economic crime investigation in Latvia” of the European Economic Area financial instrument programme for 2014-2021. It was performed with the purpose to increase the efficiency of the investigation and improve cooperation between the structural units of the State Police, as well as cross-institutional cooperation in this field of investigation. And on 8 December of the current year a research report with the main findings was published.
Interviews with experts related to the investigation of economic crimes were conducted during the study in order to identify the level and quality of cooperation and coordination in the investigation and processing of evidence for the crimes that have a direct negative impact on the business environment in Latvia. Experts from the State Police, the State Police College, the Ministry of the Interior, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the State Revenue Service, the Specialized Prosecution Office for Organized Crime and Other Sectors, Riga District Prosecutor's Office, the US Embassy in Latvia, and the Financial Intelligence Service participated in it.
The study emphasizes the progress achieved so far in Latvia in the field of combatting of economic and financial crimes, at the same time also highlighting the areas that require attention. Nevertheless, there is still a need to strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice field and to promote cooperation with key players in the European and international law enforcement organizations to ensure successful investigation of crimes even more effectively in the future.
The report states that criminal structures and organized groups are motivated by the profits they make as a result of their criminal activities, therefore Latvia needs to send a clear message that this is not a country to engage in illegal activities and it is necessary to show its commitment that those who will still do it, will be called to criminal justice.
Report of the study “Interagency Coordination in Economic Crime Investigations in Latvia” in the original language (English) is available here: https://www.oecd.org/publications/interagency-coordination-in-economic-crime-investigations-in-latvia-79d844e6-en.htm
Study was organized within the framework of European Economic area grant 2014-2021 programme “International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime” project No.EEZ/VP/2020/1 “Support to the State Police for increasing effectiveness and quality of economic crime investigation in Latvia”