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FinCEN refuses to reveal evidence for accusations detailed in ABLV Bank case

Publicity photo.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of US Department of Treasury published 20 different documents in the so-called ABLV Bank case. However, those documents reveal no evidence to the accusations used against the bank.

One of the published documents is the Evidentiary Memorandum, which is mostly classified because of confidentiality.

The document mentions multiple episodes involving ABLV Bank in previous years – the outflow of funds from Moldova and Ukraine, as well as the potential circumvention of sanctions applied against North Korea. The document also mentions the reaction from the bank and Latvia’s supervisory institutions.

The published portion of the memorandum does not mention any bribery of officials, which was previously mentioned in the initial FinCEN report.

The memorandum includes references for 109 sources. The majority of them, however, are not revealed.  There are also mentions of eight consultations with some unknown parties – the document does not reveal with whom exactly.

FinCEN announced in the middle of February that it plans to establish sanctions against ABLV Bank for money laundering activities that had assisted with North Korea’s nuclear arms programme, as well as illegal activities in Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine.

The report published by FinCEN details that until 2017 the management of ABLV Bank had been using bribery to influence officials in Latvia in an attempt to avoid legal action and threats to its high-risk operations. Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Sigal Mandelker has announced that ABLV Bank was interested in organizing money laundering schemes. The bank had allegedly cooperated with partners involved in circulation of ballistic missiles.

ABLV Bank denies allegations voiced by FinCEN.

As it is known, European Central Bank made the decision to commence the liquidation process, which is to be realized in accordance with Latvia’s laws.

Following ECB’s instructions, FCMC applied payment restrictions on ABLV Bank on 19 February. Because ECB gave no instructions to lift restrictions, FCMC decided on the night to 24 February that unavailability of deposits took place in ABLV Bank.

ABLV Bank admits the decision made by FCMC means liquidation process will soon commence. ABLV Bank links the commission’s decision with political reasons.


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