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Bank Corruption in Latvia

Tuesday 20 February 2018
Financial Review 

Latvia’s ABLV bank has been accused of assisting North Korea to breach sanctions. Separately, the Latvia Central Bank Governor is also accused of bribery charges.

According to the AFR, in the last two years, two Latvian banks have been fined more than €2.8 million for assisting their clients to violate the European Union and United Nations’ sanctions against North Korea:


ABLV said it had sought temporary liquidity support from the central bank after depositors withdrew €600 million, about 22 per cent of total deposits, following a warning by the United States that it was seeking to impose sanctions on the bank. Latvia's third-biggest lender denied wrongdoing.


Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said institutionalised money laundering was ‘the pillar of the bank’s business practices.’

FinCEN linked the bank’s activities to North Korea’s ballistic missiles program.

 
Bank Governor corruption charges

Recently, the Latvian Anti-Corruption Authority released the Central Bank Governor, who had been detained under suspicion of soliciting a €100,000 bribe. The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau said this was separate to the investigation into ABLV.

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