Latvia's financial intelligence unit, or FIU, has frozen tens of millions of euros belonging to clients of ABLV Bank, which collapsed last year after U.S. officials accused the lender of acting as a conduit for illicit finance, the agency's chief told ACAMS moneylaundering.com. ABLV, the Baltic nation's third largest bank by assets, entered liquidation in March 2018, weeks after the U.S. Treasury Department deemed it a "primary money laundering concern" and proposed severing its access to the U.S. financial system for allegedly handling funds for arms dealers, corrupt officials and other criminals. Three months later, Latvia's Financial and Capital Markets...
The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday accused one of Latvia’s largest banks of having knowingly helped corrupt officials, arms traffickers and other criminals move profits through accounts held by foreign clients and anonymous shell companies.
More than 30 percent of the record €101 million in suspicious assets Latvian officials froze last year belongs to clients of ABLV Bank, a Riga-based lender that collapsed last year after U.S. officials moved to blacklist it as a conduit for illicit finance.
A portion of funds from a massive tax fraud in Russia that moved throughout Europe before terminating at Danske Bank in Estonia also transited through ABLV, which collapsed in February under the weight of a U.S. designation, a U.K. investor has alleged.
How do you supervise the dissolution of a dirty bank when your country is under intense international scrutiny for serving as a harbor and funnel for tens of billions of dollars in illicit wealth for decades? That is the question Latvian authorities must answer with ABLV Bank.