Representatives of anti-corruption agencies of the Baltic States and Poland

Representatives of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) participated in the traditional high-level regional anti-corruption seminar in Lithuania on 11-13 May.

During the meeting, topics such as war in Ukraine and its impact on anti-corruption environment, EPAC/EACN Presidency plans and latest results, challenges and best practices in investigating corruption-related crimes committed by high-ranking officials have been discussed.

"The fourth meeting of the heads of anti-corruption institutions of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland is taking place at a difficult time. The war in Ukraine has implications also for activities of anti-corruption institutions. We need to pay closer attention to the investigation of possible corruption-related crimes, provide all possible assistance to our partners in Ukraine, and, at the same time, consider what new challenges may await us in future. This seminar will further strengthen cooperation between four countries and will allow us to operate more efficiently in the context of crisis and emerging challenges," says Žydrūnas Bartkus, Director of the Special Investigation Service (STT) and EPAC/EACN President.

Heads of Central Anti-Corruption Bureau of Poland (CBA), the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau of Latvia (KNAB), the Estonian Internal Security Service (KAPO), and the Corruption Crimes Bureau of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board also participated in the meeting organized by the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania.

Jēkabs Straume, Director of the KNAB, shared Latvia‘s experience in investigating corruption-related crimes.

Mr. Straume said: "The successful prosecution of corruption-related offenses is ensured by the active involvement of judges and prosecutors in the investigation of the case from early moments of detecting the crime. Latvia has come a long way in implementing the recommendations of experts from the OECD (Working Group on Bribery of Foreign Officials) and the Council of Europe (Moneyval) and can now enjoy considerable success in the fight against corruption and money laundering."

Andrzej Stróżny, Head of the Polish Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), emphasized the unity of the region states in helping the victims of the war in Ukraine.

"At our joint initiative, the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian anti-corruption institutions have together provided shelter and assistance to the families of the officials of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), a total of more than 350 people, mostly women and children," said the CBA chief.

He also expressed his admiration for the STT team that took over Presidency at the EPAC / EACN network and the work it has done.

The seminar also presented significant results of the first year of operation of the Economic Court of the Republic of Latvia, as well as ongoing and planned joint events and projects that contribute to further strengthening regional cooperation and improving the exchange of information. The Estonian and Polish partners shared their experience in implementing economic and other international sanctions and noted the important role of anti-corruption institutions in ensuring a strategic approach to national security questions.

This is the fourth meeting of the heads of anti-corruption institutions of the Baltic Region, which is taking place in Lithuania for the second time to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the STT.  Previous meetings have also taken place in Estonia and Poland.

Source: Special Investigation Service