Former private banker detained in ABLV case

A court has ordered the detention of Andris Ovsjaņņikovs, a former ABLV Bank private banker in connection with an ongoing €50 million money laundering investigation, reports Latvian Radio.

On Thursday, January 30, Ovsjaņņikovs was taken to court after prosecutors in the case requested that he be held in custody while investigations continue.

Regsitry information indicates that Ovsjaņņikovs is a board member of Manat, which in 2018 had a turnover of 2,583,146 euros. Belarussian citizen Darya Terekhina owns 100% of the company. 

Historically, Manat was owned by Manat Holdings, a company registered in the Seychelles, the LETA news agency said.

However, that is not the only foreign venture in which Ovsjaņņikovs appears to be involved. His LinkedIn profile lists him as head of the client relationship department at UK-registered company AltPay Limited from the company's founding in May 2018 - just three months after the ABLV banking scandal boke and before it had even had its banking license revoked, in July 2018.

AltPay describes itself as "part of the competition to traditional banking" on its homepage, which shows a mysterious masked figure and promises to "take away the hurdles of traditional banking". Yet AltPay's address appears to be a north London office suite above a charity shop and bedroom showroom. It also has a representative address at the rather more prestigious address of 1A Doma laukums in the very center of Rīga alongside the Cosmos museum of illusions.

According to the UK company registry, the owner of AltPay is Latvian citizen Artjoms Dozorcevs, described on his LinkedIn profile as self-employed. However, he was formerly at Latvia's Rietumu Bank, based in London, Rīga and the Russian Federation.

Ovsjaņņikovs is one of four to be detained from a group of eight persons believed to be connected to the case. On January 29 lawyer Andris Putniņš was also remanded in custody at a court appearance.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed to LETA that Latvia had requested assistance in the €50 million euro money laundering case. This was done on the basis of a treaty signed in 1994 between the two countries.

 

On February 26, 2018, shareholders of ABLV Bank decided to self-liquidate due to  reputational problems experienced after the U.S. Treasury went public with allegations of institutionalized money laundering at the bank.

At the beginning of March 2018, ABLV Bank submitted a self-liquidation plan to the Financial and Capital Market Commission. The plan was approved by the regulator on June 122018 .

 
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