"Unfortunately, I must say that you don’t have to be a criminal mastermind to come up with a sanctions evasion or circumvention scheme… most of the time, they’re not very sophisticated.”
In the latest episode of the “Sanctions Space” podcast, Justine Walker is joined by Toms Platacis, acting head of Latvia’s Financial Intelligence Unit. They discuss current sanctions evasion typologies in Latvia—ranging from the sophisticated (dismantling range rovers into individual pieces and later reassembling) to the unsophisticated (smugglers violating sanctions by concealing cigarettes within timber, not realizing the latter is prohibited). Platacis and Walker also discuss how these risks will evolve, how sanctions can be strengthened at the European Union level, and what it has been like for Latvia to be on the frontlines of Russia sanctions implementation.
Platacis is Latvia’s acting head of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia (FIU Latvia) since June 2022. Platacis was previously deputy head of FIU Latvia since January 2021, and prior to this, he was leading the Strategic Analysis and Cooperation Coordination Division responsible for the implementation of the public-private partnership in FIU Latvia. Platacis also contributes as an evaluator to Moneyval/Financial Action Task Force peer reviews. His previous professional experience relates to several law firms, including Deloitte Legal, where he specialized in financial crime prevention and participated in several large-scale projects abroad.