The respective amendments to the Law on the Special Investigation Service were passed by the Seimas on Thursday in a vote of 80 to five with 20 abstentions and are set to take effect in July.
Under the amendments, banks, financial and credit institutions and other legal entities will have to provide, free of charge, information about a legal entity’s business and financial transactions if asked by the STT to do so.
Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense, called on lawmakers to support the amendments, saying that they would grant the STT the same rights as those enjoyed by the State Tax Inspectorate, the Financial Crime Investigation Service and other bodies.
Social Democratic MP Artūras Skardžius, however, voiced his concern that the right might be abused.
“The amendment does not target natural persons. A court warrant is necessary for obtaining information about natural persons,” Bakas said.
The STT says that it needs access to financial data “in that stage of its activities where signs of concrete offences have not yet been identified, but efforts are being made to detect such signs while analyzing socio-economic phenomena and certain patterns in the most corruption affected areas”.