On May 30, marks the tenth anniversary of Latvia's accession to the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This means that Latvia is committed to combating bribery of public officials in the interests of companies not only in Latvia but also abroad.

Combating bribery of foreign public officials plays an important role in promoting fair competition, a favourable investment climate and the overall growth of the country's economy. Effective combating of bribery makes investments safer and more predictable, and reduces various risks such as the need for investors to make unofficial payments to public officials, the likelihood of becoming involved in corruption scandals, etc.

According to the report published on 2022 by the international organisation Transparency International, Latvia is the only EU Member State and one of the two ratifying countries to have improved its performance in combating bribery of foreign public officials and to have achieved an increase in the categories assessed. Latvia is ahead of countries such as Canada, Sweden, Singapore, Lithuania, Estonia, etc.

Combating bribery of foreign officials is one of the priorities of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB). In the ten years since Latvia acceded to the Convention, KNAB has opened five criminal proceedings for bribery of foreign public officials in the interests of companies registered in Latvia. KNAB has successfully concluded pre-trial investigations in four criminal proceedings, and a court ruling has already entered into force in two criminal proceedings.

In one of these criminal proceedings, a natural person informally representing a Latvian company made an offer of 90 thousand euros to the Commander of the Military Air Force of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. This illegal conduct resulted in the company being fined 120 thousand euros. In the second criminal case, a company whose representative gave a relatively small bribe – around ten thousand euros and a wristwatch – was fined almost seven times more, i.e., 77 thousand euros.