Major police search carried out at ABLV bank in Latvia

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On Saturday, June 13, one of the largest law enforcement searches in Latvia's history took place in ABLV Bank-related addresses, Latvian Television reported on June 13.

Searches and procedural activities were carried out at 45 bank-related addresses. Around 300 law enforcement officials participated. The searches took place within the framework of a process directed by the Office for the Prevention of Economic Crimes (ENAP).

Officials of the State Police confirmed that "the State Police, in the criminal proceedings of ENAP, regarding alleged large-scale money laundering, today in cooperation with specialized prosecutor's offices, the Finance and Capital Market Commission, the State Revenue Service, and, performed more than 40 searches at various sites in Riga and its vicinity, in a credit institution, businesses, workplaces and residences. More than one person has been detained. The work continues."

The State Police does not make further comments in the interests of the investigation at the moment.

Meanwhile, General Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Laura Majevska confirmed to Latvian Radio that the Prosecutor's Office supervises the investigation and three prosecutors are involved.

"The State Police has informed the public about a number of criminal proceedings launched on suspicion of money laundering and related crimes, establishing an infrastructure, supporting and encouraging it. The investigation is now active," ENAP chair Pēteris Bauska said.

In 2018, the Latvian State Police opened a criminal case on possible money laundering schemes at ABLV Bank, which was then undergoing a liquidation process following U.S. allegations of large-scale money laundering.

Latvia's anti-corruption force was in action January 28, 2020, with a raid on the offices of ABLV bank.

Later in the day the LETA newswire reported the raids were related to suspicions of the laundering of several hundred million euros through ABLV Bank.

The police suspect an employee of a credit institution, as well as its management, of setting up the necessary infrastructure, supporting money laundering and facilitating it. Among the detainees are bank employees. 45 searches were carried out at a credit institution, related companies, at individuals and their residences.

Bauska did not specify in which specific criminal case involving ABLV Bank the searches were conducted on Saturday, as there are dozens of pending cases, but the investigation is very complicated and extensive.

Janis Karklins, a lawyer for ABLV Bank owners Ernests Bernis and Olegs Fils, told LETA that no measures were taken against his clients by law enforcement authorities.

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