Scandal in the Latvian Central Bank: searches, interrogations and legislative amendments
RIGA, February 20 — RIA Novosti. The President of the Bank of Latvia (the Central Bank), Ilmars Rimsevics, was detained by the Bureau on struggle against corruption (KNAB) on suspicion in receiving a bribe in especially large size. Police removed him from the management of the Bank, and the Latvian deputies proposed to limit the stay on a post of the President of the Central Bank the maximum two terms.
Western partners still prefer not to intervene in the situation, however, the financial reputation of Latvia in the international arena has already been shaken, especially given the outbreak last week of the scandal АBLV Bank, which the United States accused of money laundering and bribery. Are things Rimshevicha and АBLV Bank, is unclear.
Search and interrogation
On Friday, February 16, employees KNAB raided the office and home Rimshevicha. He Rimsevics this time was in Spain for questioning in the office was only the next day, arriving there from the airport.
After eight hours of interrogation Rimshevicha detained for 48 hours. He was placed in a temporary detention facility of the police, although stated through counsel that he believes the detention is illegal.
Official statements of law enforcement officers did not, but media reported that investigators suspect the existence in Latvia of an organized criminal group, whose members, using his official position and political influence extorted bribes, including the credit institutions.
There were reports that the KNAB is to verify information about the extortion of money from the largest shareholder of Norvik banka Grigory Guselnikova. The Agency also checks the information in the application Network to combat financial crimes (FinCEN, part of the U.S. Treasury) about the illegal transactions of the Latvian Bank ABLV.
In the end, 19 Feb KNAB assigned Rimshevicha the status of a suspect in bribe reception in the large size. According to militiamen, in the case of figures a bribe in the amount of not less than 100 thousand euros. Rimshevicha has released on the security in 100 thousand Euro.
The police of Latvia has officially confirmed that the start of criminal proceedings on application by Norvik banka on extortion of bribes from Guselnikova.
Guselnikov has filed a lawsuit at the international arbitration court in the case related to the business Winergy wind farm. He argued that the former insolvency administrator Maris Spruds, and a high-ranking official in the financial sector of Latvia extorted bribes for the Commission of financial and capital market Commission (FCMC) did not exert pressure on the Bank. Guselnikov claims that he did not give bribes, therefore, the FCMC has tightened the requirements for Norvik banka.
The banker reacted to the announcement of the criminal process with enthusiasm.
“We sincerely hope that the detailed investigation will be subjected to action and communication, not only one (albeit the highest) officials, but of all those whom he has over these 25 years, patronized, promoted to positions of leadership and support. It is the actions and inaction of these people have caused is evident to all the huge financial and reputational damage to the banking system, the economy and the entire population of Latvia”, — he wrote on his page in Facebook.