Corruption Prevention Bureau searching ABLV Bank

  • 2020-01-28
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Officers of the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) are today searching the premises of ABLV bank, which is currently in the process of liquidation, KNAB representatives confirmed to LETA. 

KNAB informed that the searches at the bank have been ordered by the Prosecutor General's Office but said it was not authorized to give more details.

Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers was also unable to provide more detailed information to LETA, saying that he "could not disclose it", but promised that a statement to the press would be released today.

ABLV Bank's spokesman Janis Bunte told LETA that law enforcement officers arrived at the bank's premises on Skanstes Street on Tuesday but could not explain the reason for the raid. 

"We do not have exact information as to what has prompted these activities, but both the bank and its shareholders have asserted already earlier that we will cooperate and are already cooperating with all authorities. The bank has given the Financial Intelligence Service full access to ABLV Bank's historical data and last September the bank handed over thousands of its documents to state authorities," said Bunte. 

He added that the bank and its shareholders are interested in a thorough examination of its creditors and the bank's operations. 

As reported, the Finance and Capital Market Commission, acting on the instructions from the European Central Bank, ordered ABLV Bank to stop all payments as of February 19, 2018 following a report by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury about ABLV Bank's involvement in international money laundering schemes and corruption. On February 24, 2018 the Finance and Capital Market Commission found an occurrence of unavailability of deposits at ABLV Bank.

Shareholders of ABLV Bank decided to start the liquidation process in order to protect interests of its clients and creditors. ABLV Bank believes that in this way it will be possible to ensure active protection of its customers, the bank said in a statement.

At the end of September 2017, ABLV Bank was the third largest bank in Latvia by assets. The bank's majority shareholders Olegs Fils, Ernests Bernis and Nika Berne own, directly and indirectly, 87.03 percent of the bank's share capital.