Collapsed bank sues former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is among nine persons being sued by the administrators of the insolvent Latvian bank “PNB”, LTV's investigative program De Facto reported October 4.

While serving as Deputy Chairman of the bank's Council, Rasmussen voted in favour of several transactions that were not in the bank’s interests, it is claimed.

PNB went bankrupt last year, after the European Central Bank (ECB) assessed that it was “failing or likely to fail”, as reported by LSM at the time.

The insolvency administrator of PNB, Vigo Krastiņš has now discovered losses of 32 million euros caused to the bank shortly before it was closed. He has filed a lawsuit against former employees in a bid to recover some or all of that sum.

Rasmussen is among nine persons being sued. The former NATO Secretary General was Deputy Chairman of the PNB Council at that time. His appointment in January 2018, when the bank was still called Norvik bank before its later rebranding as PNB, was trumpeted as an important step, though the exact terms of his employment were never specified in any great detail.

"The bank’s Council has several important functions – it monitors the bank's Board, approves the bank’s Business Strategy and other documents crucial for its activity," the bank said at the time.

As discovered by the ECB first and the administrator of PNB later, the Board and Council members of the bank agreed to free the owner of the bank Grigory Guselnikov from his liabilities towards PNB, even though the bank received nothing in return.

LTV reports that the regulator of Latvian banks – the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) – reported the transactions in question to the State Police, but no investigation was opened.

Former Board and Council members of PNB are now facing a civil lawsuit. Hearings are yet to take place, but a Latvian court has already agreed to arrest real estate owned by Rasmussen in Denmark.

Besides Rasmussen another well-known figure among the defendants is the former Director of Germany’s foreign intelligence service, August Hanning. The court in Latvia also decided to seize Hanning’s property in Germany.

Neither Rasmussen nor Hanning commented on the issue.

LTV also asked Grigory Guselnikov, former owner and Chairman of the Council on which Fogh Rasmussen was Deputy Chairman, for comment. Guselnikov did not respond.

Fogh Rasmussen served as NATO Secretary General from 2009-14 and Prime Minister of Denmark from 2001-2009. Prior to this he was Minister of Tax and Minister of Economic Affairs in the Danish government.

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