Latvia : the central bank governor proclaimed his innocence

The governor of the central Bank of Latvia, Ilmars Rimsevics, on may 28, 2009 in Helsinki (Photo by MARKKU ULANDER. LEHTIKUVA)

The governor of the central Bank of Latvia, suspected of corruption and suspended from his duties, has proclaimed his innocence in an interview with the Financial Times published Friday.

But in an interview with AFP in Brussels on Friday, the Latvian Prime minister, Maris Kucinskis, was adamant that Ilmars Rimsevics -arrested last weekend and then released on bail- “to be put in a withdrawal” of his duties “during the investigation”.

The Financial Times, Ilmars Rimsevics said that the charges weighing upon him had been fabricated by several banks, put in the lurch by its efforts to improve transparency in relation to the accounts of non-residents in Latvia, a baltic country bordering Russia.

He had been accused of having received a bribe in the amount of at least € 100,000.

“I (the) démens vehemently”, he told the financial daily. “I can only guess that I became a public person very inconvenient for a number of financial institutions of this country, which has exacerbations, during a long period of time, to seek to gather evidence, or (hatching) of the provocations to make me leave.”

“It is a campaign well-orchestrated by several individuals and banks that have served customers who are not resident at different times (…) for I am become a burden”, further stated Mr. Rimsevics. He acted, according to him, a reaction to his requests that some banks are controlled by firms that audit u.s. in 2016 and 2017, which has “reduced their revenue and their profits.”

He had been accused with the words covered by the majority shareholder and president of the bank, Norvik, the eighth institution of his country, Grigory Guselnikov, have attempted, by use of an intermediary, to get him some jars of wine on several occasions.

For his part, in Brussels, Mr Kucinskis was criticized Friday at the bank Norvik of having “orchestrated a campaign of defamation against Latvia to tarnish its international reputation and its image abroad by spreading false information on the possible pots-of-wines that have never” been paid.

It has “presented no evidence” on this issue, he told AFP.

The case of the governor of the central bank broke out approximately at the same time as that concerning the third private bank in the country, ABLV, which the european central Bank (ECB) has imposed the freezing of payments.

Mr Kucinskis reaffirmed on Friday that there was no link between the two cases.

On the 13th of February, Washington has qualified ABLV establishment “of first importance in the field of money-laundering” in accordance with us law, while accusing him of involvement in illegal programs related to the weapons in North Korea.

The police of latvia has announced on Friday that it began investigating the suspected money laundering by ABLV.

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