Anti-corruption cops search Latvian central bank governor's office and property

Officers of Latvia's dedicated anti-corruption force, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) have raided the office of and a property belonging to long-time central bank governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, LTV reports.

According to LTV, which did not disclose the source of the information, the raid took place February 16.

Reporters could not get confirmation of the development from either KNAB or from Rimšēvičs himself, who told LTV he "was not entitled to comment" and promptly hung up on them. His current whereabouts were not clear.

Consequently it was not possible to ascertain whether Rimšēvičs himself was under investigation or whether the search of his office was linked to some other investigation.

Via social media KNAB said it "does not currently confirm or deny information about recent investigative activities" but said it would "provide additional information and clarification as soon as possible without compromising the investigation."

Nevertheless the development is unprecedented. Rimšēvičs has been governor of the Latvian central bank since 2001 and has worked there since 1992. As Latvia is a member of the Eurozone he is also a member of the European Central Bank's governing council.

LTV also reported from anonymous sources that businessman Maris Martinsons, a well-known entrepreneur in construction and payday loans, was arrested by KNAB in what may be a linked development.

President Raimonds Vejonis announced late Saturday that the situation in the Latvian bank sector - with the central bank governor situation coming on top of the ABLV controversy - would be the subject of a meeting of the National Security Council next week. 

 

Banks
Economy