“The aim of the e-residency program is to bring new e-residents to Estonia who consume Estonia’s e-services and, among other things, also conduct their legal business. The purpose of the anti-money laundering rules is to prevent the exploitation of the Estonian economic space for illegal activities, including money laundering,” Toomas Vapper, head of the finance ministry’s entrepreneurship and accounting policy department, told BNS on Wednesday.
“These are subjective assessments in the area of contact between attracting legal business and fending off illegal business, where there may arise certain difficulties with the veering of decisions to one side or the other. However, these two things cannot immediately be considered contradictory,” Vapper said, noting that they are two sides of the same coin, where reasonableness and purposefulness were required in equal measure.
According to Vapper, citizens arriving in Estonia to conduct legal business via e-residency are very welcome, but if suspicions regarding the legality of their business cannot be overturned, then that will not be the case.
“This means that, on the one hand, banks have to properly understand the different types of international business, including technology companies and startups, and on the other hand, the leaders of e-residency and technology companies have to take into account the tightening rules for fighting international money laundering in their activity,” Vapper continued.