Latvia and Moldova pledge further action tracking down billion-dollar fraud

Take note – story published 3 years ago

On 12 February 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, Aureliu Ciocoi, who was in Latvia on a working visit.

The Ministers discussed bilateral relations between Latvia and Moldova, Moldova’s cooperation with the EU, and current developments concerning the Eastern Partnership, but also confirmed that attempts to recover cash from a notorious fraud operation that siphoned more than one billion dollars out of Moldova, partly via Latvian banks, were ongoing.

Asked about the issue by LSM, Ciocoi said:

"I'm not going to give you the details, but what I can say in public is that after the change in the leadership of the Moldovan prosecutor's office we have found out huge problems exactly in this case... They [the previous prosecutor's office] have done nothing in investigating this famous robbery from the Moldovan banking system."

"Now the new leadership of the general prosecutor's office is working hard to start an efficient investigation and to find out where the money is and to start the process of requesting back to the Republic of Moldova at least what we can find in an international investigation process," he added.

For his part, Rinkēvičs pledged any necessary support.

"We have done quite a lot during the last two years to reform our system of supervision in Latvia... I can specifically state here our Financial Intelligence Unit and other competent institutions are ready to continue cooperation whenever we receive any requests from Moldova  and we are going to take them seriously," Rinkēvičs said.

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