Banks, Corruption, Financial Services, Latvia, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 23.08.2019, 09:57

Ir: Rimsevics suspected of soliciting bribe from Trasta Komercbanka

BC, Riga, 22.02.2018.Print version
Bank of Latvia governor Ilmars Rimsevics is suspected of soliciting a bribe from Trasta Komercbanka that is undergoing a liquidation process right now, Ir magazine reports, cites LETA.

In the criminal procedure against Rimsevics, there are statements about soliciting a bribe from Trasta Komercbanka at least four years ago, when the bank was still operating but faced some troubles. A former high-ranking official at the bank has now testified in the case.

Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) chief Jekabs Straume said in a press conference earlier that he can neither confirm, not deny that Rimsevics’ case is related with Trasta Komercbanka. Rimsevics in his press conference said that he will not comment on this.

The Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) restricted operations of Trasta Komercbanka on January 22, 2016, and closed the bank soon afterwards. The bank had problems to meet the capital adequacy requirements, and the bank’s representatives had tried to solve the problems with bribes. There are suspicions that a bribe was paid to Rimsevics for his help in solving problems with the financial watchdog, while businessman Maris Martinsons had cooperated in this process.

As reported, according to the Financial and Capital Market Commission, Trasta Komercbanka had been operating with losses for a long period and had no viable business model or development strategy adequate to the situation. In addition, serious and sustained breaches of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations were identified in the bank's activities.

At the end of last year, the State Police asked the prosecutor's office to start criminal prosecution of six persons involved in liquidation of the joint-stock company Trasta Komercbanka, including former insolvency administrators Maris Spruds and Ilmars Krums.

After finding out about possible violations during the liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka, the State Police's Economic Crime Department in January 2017 opened a criminal process on extortion and large-scale money laundering by an organized group.

The police investigation established that, in 2016, two insolvency administrators used the Trasta Komercbanka liquidation process for personal gain and joined up with four men to run an extortion scheme. The group is also suspected of large-scale money laundering.


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