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Defunct bank makes more money-laundering headlines

Trasta Komercbanka, the financial institution that has been linked to numerous scandals over the years, is back in the international news headlines as part of a major investigation into money-laundering.

UK newspaper The Guardian has run a series of stories on the so-called 'Russian-laundromat' scam that is alleged to have laundered billions of dollars via banks and companies in Russia, Moldova, Latvia and the United Kingdom.

The latest story relates how Trasta was used to get dirty money into the European Union and how Latvian banks developed a reputation as a back door into the EU banking system during the period 2010 - 2014.

LSM has reported upon the allegations numerous times in the past, but the sheer extent of the frauds perpetrated shows that failure to get to grips with the money-laundering problem over a period of several years continues to throw a shadow over the Latvian banking system.

Latvia's financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission, and the European Central Bank withdrew Trasta Komercbanka's licence to operate in March 2016, citing "serious and sustained breaches of regulatory requirements in several areas for a long period". 

Bankruptcy proceedings continue in the courts.

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