Governor of Latvia’s central bank reportedly subject to another bribery probe

By bne IntelliNews November 12, 2018

The governor of Latvijas Banka Edgars Rimsevics is subject to another investigation by Latvia’s anti-corruption bureau KNAB, focussing on bribery and submitting false information to the US authorities, local media reported on November 10.

KNAB alleges Rimsevics, who is facing charges of bribery in a case linked to a failed bank and alleged money launderer Trasta Komercbanka, suggested a number of years ago that ABLV bank owner Ernests Bernis used lobbyists indicated by Rimsevics to represent ABLV’s interests abroad, Latvian public media LTV and Leta reported.

Bernis reportedly considered Rimsevics’ suggestions as bribery suggestions and declined. He then hired lobbyists of his own choice, following which Rimsevics is said to have provided false information about ABLV to the US authorities in retaliation.

The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) used false information provided by Rimsevics in a report that accused ABLV of money laundering and facilitating transaction for entities involved in North Korea’s missile programme, LTV and Leta claimed.

ABLV shut down in the aftermath of the report. The bank claims the FinCEN’s allegations were based on “thinly sourced, often dated, and largely conclusory factual assertions.” ABLV also took the European Central Bank (ECB) to court for setting off its collapse in the aftermath of FinCEN’s allegations.

KNAB has not made the allegation public nor has commented on the media reports. Rimsevics’ lawyer is yet to comment on the revelations, Leta said.

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