Latvia Anticorruption Agency Detains Central Bank Governor

Latvia Anticorruption Agency Detains Central Bank Governor

Anti-corruption authorities in Latvia have arrested the governor of the country's central bank, Ilmars Rimsevics, the government said Sunday, while assuring there is "no sign of danger" to the financial system.

LTV reported on Saturday that the raid took place on Friday.

Local media said anti-corruption officers also raided the governor's residence and his offices at the Bank of Latvia. Repeated calls and texts sent to Varpins went unanswered, and authorities gave no further details on why Rimsevics was being held.

The head of the Latvian central bank returned to Riga from a foreign trip on Saturday evening and was driven by his lawyer to the Corruption Prevention Bureau's office where he was interrogated for almost eight hours.

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis issued a statement Sunday confirming: "The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has applied the status of being detained to the Governor of Bank of Latvia.". As the head of the central bank, Rimsevics is on the European Central Bank's council of monetary policy rate-setters.


In a message on Twitter, Latvia's presidency said there would be a meeting of the National Security Council next week to discuss the banking sector. Its spokeswoman, Laura Dusa, said more information will be released when it won't interfere with an investigation.

The Bank of Latvia said its operations were not affected by Rimsevics' detention, adding it is not in a position to provide comment on the Corruption Prevention Bureau's actions.

"The institution works professionally and accurately", he said.

Following a series of money-laundering allegations, the regulator fined three banks a total of 5.5 million euros ($6.8 million) for handling accounts that were involved in a $1 billion Moldovan fraud in 2014.

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