On 2 March 2016, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia passed the judgement establishing that provisions of a regulation of Latvijas Banka (the central bank of Latvia) on requirements regarding prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism in buying and selling foreign currency cash are incompatible with Satversme (the Constitution of Latvia).
The case was initiated on the basis of a constitutional complaint submitted by one of the leading operators in investment gold and currency exchange markets, SIA TAVEX. In the applicant’s opinion the challenged regulation was discriminating, since it imposed specific requirements on currency exchange operators, while commercial banks engaged in currency exchange were not subject to the same requirements. SIA TAVEX also claimed that Latvijas Banka has not acted within the authorization granted by the legislator in issuing the contested provisions. After a number of oral hearings, the Constitutional Court decided that Latvijas Banka had not acted within the scope of authorization granted by the legislator and ruled that the contested regulation is invalid as of the date of its adoption.
COBALT lawyers led by Managing Partner Lauris Liepa and Senior Associate Matiss Skinkis provided full legal assistance to SIA TAVEX, drafting the complaint to the Constitutional Court and representing the client before the court in oral hearings.