Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Amnesty International says at least 58 killed in Addis Ababa violence

Read more

FOCUS

Austria restricts immigration and hampers integration

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Historian Joan Scott: 'Hardline secularism is as bad as hardline Islam'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Shaking up the workplace: How employers face the challenge of automation

Read more

FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Alibaba founder rolls back on pledge to create 1m US jobs

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Controversial or creative? Chef gets lobsters high before boiling them so they don't suffer

Read more

THE DEBATE

Breakthrough in Pyongyang? Kim promises to visit Seoul, dismantle nuclear sites

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

Read more

Latvian central bank boss denies bribery allegations

© LEHTIKUVA/AFP/File | Rimsevics says he's done nothing wrong

WARSAW (AFP) - 

Latvia's central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics, who is suspected of bribe-taking by anti-corruption authorities, claimed he was innocent in an interview with the Financial Times published Friday.

The eurozone member's longtime governor, who was appointed in 2001 and also sits on the European Central Bank governing council, was detained last weekend by the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) and accused of having solicited and received a bribe of at least 100,000 euros ($125,000).

Now out on bail, though barred from carrying out his duties, Rimsevics claimed that the accusations were the doing of several banks upset over his attempts to improve transparency regarding the bank accounts of non-residents in the Baltic country neighbouring Russia.

"I just vehemently deny (these allegations)... I could only guess that I have been a very inconvenient public figure for several financial institutions in this country, thus making them for an extended period of time try to gather some evidence or (organise) provocations in order to remove me," he told the Financial Times.

"It is a well-orchestrated action in concert among several individuals and banks who have served non-resident clients at various times... to whom I have become a burden."

He believes the allegations against him are a result of his efforts to have banks undergo audits by US law firms in 2016 and 2017, which had lowered their profits.

Just days after Rimsevics was detained, Latvia's financial sector got another shock, when the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it was freezing payments by the country's third largest bank, ABLV, because its finances had deteriorated in the wake of money laundering allegations from Washington.

Several senior Latvian officials said there was no link between the two matters.

Last week the US Department of the Treasury named ABLV "an institution of primary money laundering concern" and accused it of connections to North Korea's weapons development programme.

Latvian police announced Friday they had begun probing the money laundering claims.

The private sector bank's CEO Ernest Bernis for his part told reporters on Thursday that ABLV had sold a good chunk of its securities portfolio and was now ready for the payment freeze to be lifted.

© 2018 AFP