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LATVIA’S TOP BANKING OFFICIAL QUESTIONED OVER CORRUPTION

22 February 2018

Latvia’s most senior banking official, who is a member of the European Central Bank, has been questioned over bribery and money laundering allegations.

Latvian Central Bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics is facing calls to resign over the allegations. Latvia’s president has called a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the situation.

Mr Rimsevics’ arrest is politically sensitive because he sits on the policy-making council of the ECB and is privy to the state secrets of Latvia, as well as those of NATO and the European Union.

Latvia, one of the three Baltic nations that became independent after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, has a well-documented history of corruption and money-laundering scandals. Its reputation for being a destination where Russians could launder their money reached a peak when leaked documents dubbed “The Laundromat’’ showed how billions were moved from Russia to Latvia from 2011 to 2015.

The country has had, and may still have, a huge money laundering problem. The individual banks and those running them must assess the scale of the problem and devise realistic, rigorous means of preventing any further laundering.

Read our article: THE LAUNDROMAT SAGA: THE FCA AND MONEY LAUNDERING RISKS