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Ceturtdiena 20.02.2020 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

Searches in Latvian banks performed with help from Germany; two persons detained

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ENAP, KNAB, money laundering, corruption, ABLV Bank, searchThis week Latvian State Police Economic Crimes Enforcement Unit (ENAP) performed investigative activities in four Latvian credit institutions in cooperation with German state police. Two persons have been detained, as reported by State Police.

Police explain that on 27 January ENAP in cooperation with the Finance Intelligence Service (FID) and German police performed a number of investigative activities, including eight searches. Searches have been performed in four Latvian credit institutions. Evidence was collected and documents confiscated during searches.

Investigative actions were performed as part of an ongoing criminal process headed by ENAP, launched in accordance with criminal activities outlined in Part 3 of Section 195 – laundering of considerable amounts of illegally obtained funds.

Two persons, including one foreign citizen, have been detained as part of the criminal process. Detained persons have since been released from custody and applied with status of a person with rights for defence. Persons have been applied with security measures not involving deprivation of freedom.

State Police notes that more detailed information about the investigation is not provided at this time. The investigation continues.

As previously reported, State Police performed a search at ABLV Bank and a number of other commercial banks in Latvia on Tuesday, 28 January.

According to unofficial information, police have expressed an interest for transactions processed by Rietumu Bank, Regional Investment Bank, Industrial Bank and BlueOrange Bank.

Industra Bank public relations and marketing director Marita Ozoliņa explains that no search was performed at the bank, but several days ago police was provided with necessary information regarding specific transactions the police had previously expressed an interest in. She stresses that there are no reasons to believe those transactions could be related to any possible illegalities committed by the bank or its employees.

Ozoliņa notes that Industrial Bank regularly cooperates with law enforcement institutions and provides them with necessary information. Also in cases when clients perform suspicious transactions, the bank immediately reports them to responsible services.

BlueOrange Bank corporate communication and marketing office head Ingrīda Šmite says law enforcers have performed investigative procedures in relation to one of the bank’s clients. Neither the bank nor its employees are involved. Šmite did not comment on the situation in more detail.

Regional Investment Bank’s marketing office explains no investigative activities have been performed in relation to the bank.

More on this topic: One person involved in criminal case on laundering of 50 million euros put under arrest

Rietumu Bank’s press-secretary Eleonora Gailiša affirmed that on Tuesday, 28 January, law enforcement institution was provided with documents detailing transactions performed by one of the bank’s clients. The bank performs such measures regularly. It is a standard procedure for the bank. This means there are no reasons to consider arresting any of the bank’s employees. At the same time, Gailiša stresses the bank does not comment operations performed by law enforcement institutions.

Operations performed by police may be related to some international investigation related to money laundering, according to information from LETA.

This criminal case is not related to the criminal process regarding the laundering of illegally obtained funds worth no less than EUR 50 million, part of which ENAP, KNAB, State Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Office and Finance and Capital Market Commission performed 20 searches, including at ABLV Bank last week.

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