Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Latvian corruption agency raids ABLV bank in €50 million money laundering probe

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According to LTV, law enforcement agencies including the Corruption Prevention and Combatting Bureau (KNAB) are conducting searches at the ABLV Bank building in Rīga in connection with suspicions that at least EUR 50 million may have been laundered by the bank between 2015 and 2018 when it collapsed following U.S, Treasury allegations that it was involved in money-laundering on a grand scale.

LTV reported that KNAB confirmed it was cooperating with other law enforcement agencies in conducting criminal proceedings on behalf of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The prosecutor’s office confirmed that at least 20 authorized searches in Latvia and abroad are being carried out in cooperation with law enforcement agencies of other countries in connection with money laundering of at least EUR 50 million.

It is believed that an organized group of representatives of several countries carried out money laundering of at least EUR 50 million between 2015 and 2018 with ABLV involved, the prosecutor’s office said.

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The crime committed by the organized group was supported by the credit institution in liquidation and its employees in removing obstacles to the transfer of funds, a statement from the prosecutor’s office said.

Jānis Bunte, a spokesman for ABLV Bank, confirmed to Latvian Radio that “representatives of law enforcement agencies who are doing their job have arrived at the bank’s premises”.

The bank does not yet have information related to these activities, Bunte said, adding that the bank will cooperate with law enforcement authorities and will provide all necessary information.

Latvian Radio provided pictures of masked “Omega” force officers arriving at the ABLV premises. However, rather than swinging in through the windows with stun grenades popping in every direction, they politely entered via a revolving door.

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