Association of Latvian Commercial Banks says illicit activites are 'unacceptable'

The industry body that represents most of Latvia's banks responded to the prospect of the country's second-largest bank - one of its own members - being frozen out of the dollar banking system by making the self-evident statement that using the banking system for "illicit activities" is unacceptable.

The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks (ALCB) said it has "zero tolerance for the use of Latvia's banking system for illicit activities" and trumpeted its standards and guidelines - but did not even mention ABLV bank by name. Nor did it say what action, if any, would be taken against ABLV if the staggering allegations were substantiated.

"We expect a comprehensive investigation so actions could be taken against individuals and legal entities, including bank shareholders, officers and employees who attempt to use or use the Latvian financial system for illegal purposes," the statement added.

Some of the text was a direct copy of another statement ALCB issued last July trumpeting its anti-money laundering credentials.

ABLV's Vadims Reinfelds is deputy chairman of the board at ALCB. ABLV executives also sit on many of the Association's committees including the Compliance and Control Committee, the Financial Instrument Market and Investment Services Committee, and the Accountancy and Taxation Committee.

The bank itself is due to give a statement to the press later on Wednesday.

As reported by LSM February 13, the U.S. Treasury has announced swingeing action against ABLV after unleashing a mind-boggling litany of accusations that it is involved in money laundering on a vast scale, bribery and even helping channel funds to North Korea's missile program via mysterious offshore companies on its books in defiance of international sanctions.



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