«Practical Issues in Investigating Corruption Crimes linked with Money Laundering Cases in Estonia (example of Virumaa county) Mr. Kalmer Kask ...»
Practical Issues in Investigating Corruption Crimes linked with Money Laundering
Cases in Estonia (example of Virumaa county)
Mr. Kalmer Kask
Prosecutor on special cases
Virumaa district prosecutor's office
The organizers of this seminar have entrusted me with a pleasant but at the same time
challenging task to provide you, within half an hour, with an overview of investigation practices
of Estonian law enforcement agencies into the crimes related to corruption and money
laundering. My second goal is to try and present main challenges related to prosecuting corruption cases, as well as beyond it, from a prosecutor’s standpoint through practical examples, the problems various law enforcement agencies in Estonia face daily.
As far as the examples given and issues addressed in my presentation are concerned, one should consider the specific features resulting from the geopolitical position, legislation and history of Estonia. The period of privatization of property in Estonia with unavoidable bureaucratic and political scheming, confederacies and criminal shootouts are left behind in the nineties. Active willingness of the Estonian authorities to be politically promoted in terms of the membership in NATO and EU, various measures to combat corruption which have been adopted to achieve this aim as well as the small size of the country, population and undistributed resources available – all these are the objective causes of corruption in Estonia. Currently bribes in terms of their quantities are rather modest, and corruption schemes to a large extend may not look too sophisticated or imposing. For this very reason it is hardly possible to share the Estonian experience and set an example for other countries.
The purpose of this presentation is neither to provide you with the specific guidance to action nor to prove the benefits of Estonian practices. At the same time, I do hope that this presentation will give you a decent overview of the situation in Estonia. Keeping in mind the limited time given to me I may not address all relevant issues. That is why I am going to focus more substantially on my personal experience and primarily I am going to dwell upon the practices of investigating bribery related crimes as an example and money laundering cases in Virumaa, my native region.
The written text of this presentation contains some more in-depth reasoning on the subject, as well as abstracts from the relevant legislation. Also the prepared materials include references to various websites where additional information regarding combating bribery and relevant authorities in Estonia can be found, both in English and Russian.
Brief plan of my presentation:
My tasks and scope of activities;
Brief overview of law enforcement system combating corruption activities and money laundering in Estonia, and separately in my region;
Problems / trends;
2 examples of actual bribery cases.
In the first part of my presentation I will try to provide some explanations concerning the environment my colleagues and myself are working in daily and also what relevant bodies or law enforcement units should be taken into account.
In the second part of my presentation I will try to address the main practical problems and trends we have to deal with. I will try to do it through two examples or case descriptions, the first one being related to money laundering tangentially; and in the second case the money laundering schemes were of significant importance when transferring, transforming and concealing the property obtained in the result of the corruption crime.
14 years in the prosecution (since 1997);
Prosecutor for special cases (since 2004 with short breaks).
Scope of activities (2011 – 2012) Managing criminal investigations, overseeing operational activities 1 and presenting the charges at the court on crimes committed in the area of the Virumaa District Public Prosecutor's Office and related to serious corruption 2 and large - scale money laundering 3 (page 394, part 2, para 3of Penal Code) as well as the crimes connected with rendition of intentionally illegal judgment, illegitimate accusation filing and unlawful enforcement of legal proceeding action. The coordination of performance of the prosecuting attorneys in the Virumaa District Public Prosecutor's Office in combating bribery and money laundering crimes.
Article 19 Part 2 of the Criminal Investigation Act - supervision over investigatory proceedings initiated by an investigation body on the grounds indicated in Para1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Article 9 of the present Act (necessity in collection of evidence in the criminal proceedings; evasion of a suspect or accused from criminal proceedings or evasion of a convicted from undergoing punishment under criminal law; necessity in collection of for preventing and combating crimes; necessity in collection of information for providing witness protection) is implemented by the prosecutor’s office.
Article 19 Part 2 of the Criminal Investigation Act - supervision over investigatory proceedings initiated by an investigation body on the grounds indicated in Para1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Article 9 of the present Act (necessity in collection of evidence in the criminal proceedings; evasion of a suspect or accused from criminal proceedings or evasion of a convicted from undergoing punishment under criminal law; necessity in collection of for preventing and suppressing crimes; necessity in collection of information for providing witness protection) is implemented by the prosecutor’s office.
Turnover at least 27, 802 euro (i.e. 100-fold minimum monthly wage) and more.
Criminal offences connected with As far as they are related to corruption crimes and competition crimes connected with money laundering Criminal offences related to computer frauds Criminal offences related to public procurement As an acting executive: management of criminal investigations, oversight of operative work going beyond the framework of the criminal investigation ² and bringing indictment of crimes committed outside the operation area of the Virumaa District Public Prosecutor's Office and related to organized drug trafficking and smuggling as well as the crimes committed by persons mentioned in the hazard assessment4. The coordination of performance of the prosecuting attorneys in the Virumaa District Public Prosecutor's Office in combating drug trafficking crimes.
The anti – corruption strategies on the whole are subdivided into two categories – preventive / / liberal methods and reactionary / stringent methods. Anti – corruption activities – joint work of many state agencies for preventing, suppressing and detecting guilty acts in public office. For this purpose the Estonian government has adopted the anti – corruption strategy for the periods of 2004 through 2007 and 2008 through 2012 whose implementation is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice.
for prevention of corrupt acts the main technique is to raise public awareness through informational campaigns and other ways of communication. Also through educating the individuals working at potentially corruptive positions in order to instruct them on how to avoid bribery and combat corruption.
for suppression one can consider the establishment of laws for combating corruption which impose certain constraints on state officials in terms of permitted places of employment, activeties and actions. Another corruption suppressing method is declaration of economic interests which is supposed to ensure the oversight in order to discourage an official from establishing corruptive relations and obtaining material possessions from bribery profit.
detection and settlement include proceedings for culpable act based on the Anti – Corruption Act or the Panel Code. These may be petty offenses with constraint violation related to the places of employment, activities and actions as well as criminal infractions (i.e., when giving, accepting or intermediating with bribery or gratuity).5 Rf Attachment 1 Corruption and official misconduct and sanctions in Estonia
The agencies investigating the guilty actions related to corruption (or in broader meaning – official misconduct) are prefectures of police and Security Police as well as Internal Control Bureau of Department of Police and Frontier Guard. The agencies investigating the guilty actions related to money laundering are prefectures of police and Informational Bureau on Money Laundering integrated with the unit of criminal police of Department of Police and Frontier Guard (self consistent organisation unit of the department whose main tasks are to suppress money laundering and terrorizm funding in Estonia). 7 In case the investigation of the crime precedential to money laundering crime falls within competence of this agency then money laundering crimes can also be investigated by Security Police and investigative unit of Tax and Customs Department.8 All required expert examinations and financial surveys are conducted by the employees of Institute of Legal Expertize of Estonia (documents expert examination unit) or by individuals who are registered as experts accredited by the government. The Institute of Legal Expertize of Estonia authenticates their accreditation and enumeration.
http://www.politsei.ee/ru/organisatsioon/rahapesu-andmeburoo/ The Informational bureau on money laundering analyses and verifies the information received from obliged parties and other persons regarding suspicion in money laundering and terrorizm subsidization, if necessary it takes actions to preserve the transaction related property, and when detecting constituent elements of offence it promptly passes over the materials to the competent authorities The main tasks of Investigation unit of the Tax and Customs Department are prevention, suppression and detection of the criminal infractions connected with the Tax Law and Customs regulations infringement and if necessary to conduct investigative actions based on and regulated by the law and prejudicial inquiry for the criminal infractions connected with the Tax Law and Customs regulations infringement.
The Prosecutor’s office participates in planning criminal investigation and judicial scrutiny activities required for preventing and uncovering of crime; controls pre-trial detective investigation by ensuring its legitimacy and effectiveness; represents the prosecution on behalf of the state in the court; and also performs other tasks imposed on the Prosecutor’s office. Being the director of criminal proceedings the prosecutor directs an investigation officer while collecting evidence, and makes decision on filing accusation in accordance with the substantiated facts.
Department of Police The Department of Police and Frontier Guard administrates four regional prefectures which are established on the basis of regional police prefectures, frontier guard districts and service bureau of the Department of Citizenship and Migration.
Pykhyan prefecture 9 covers the territory of the entire Kharyusk county (Harjumaa) whose population is about 38% of the whole population of Estonia. The prefecture center is located in Tallin (Tallinn).
Lyuna prefecture 10 covers the territory of 6 counties - Tartu (Tartumaa), Yigeva Jõgevamaa), Vilyandi (Viljandimaa), Pyilva (Põlvamaa), Vyrua (Võrumaa) and Valga (Valgamaa).
The prefecture center is located in Tartu (Tartu).
Lyane prefecture 11 covers the territory of six counties – Khyiu (Hiiumaa), Saarea Saaremaa), Lyanea (Läänemaa), Pyarnu (Pärnumaa), Yarva (Järvamaa) and Rapla (Raplamaa).
The prefecture center is located in Pyarnu (Pärnu).
Ida prefecture 12 covers the territory of Lyane-Virumaa(Lääne-Virumaa) and IdaVirumaa(Ida-Virumaa) counties and administrates 8 cities and 27 districts (for 01.01.2009 the population number is only 236 839.- residents). The prefecture center is located in Yikhvi (Jõhvi).
The main task of the Service for Combating Economic Crimes of the Criminal Bureau of Ida profecture (15 police officials) among others is preventive measures, suppression and pre-trial proedure for crimes: Article 201 (embezzlement), Article 213 (computer fraud), Articles 394 through 396 (various guilty actions connected with money laundering misconduct) 13. Besides this service before the service for combating corruption misconduct was organized had carried out all the tasks this service was responsible for.