Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Latvian media say central bank chief's office raided

Latvian media say central bank chief's office raided

Bank of Latvia Governor Ilmars Rimsevics has been detained in the early hours of Sunday amid a new bribery probe launched by the Baltic country's anti-corruption watchdog, the local media reported.

With Latvia's central bank governor continuing to be held by KNAB anti-corruption officers, we thought we would give you (and the other English-language newswires now lifting information from LSM) the opportunity to read the first-hand statements from the officials and bodies concerned.

The banking chief was questioned for about seven hours before being taken to another location at about 1:30 am on Sunday, according to a Baltic News Service (BNS) journalist reporting from the scene.

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis confirmed the arrest but insisted there was "no sign of danger for the Latvian financial system".

The KNAB, the Bank of Latvia, and the European Central Bank declined to comment on Kucinskis's detention.

The economy in the Baltic state, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and shares a border with Russian Federation, has been booming in recent years.

The anti-corruption bureau will make a comment "as soon as possible", spokeswoman Laura Dusa said, giving no indication as to why Rimsevics had been arrested.

The Latvian Central Bank is an independent institution and Rimsevics has been its head since 2001.

Latvia is a member of the European Union and uses the euro as its currency.

Latvia's Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens, speaking on Radio Latvia, also said the governor should consider resigning.

The Bank of Latvia could not be immediately reached for comment.

It said an extraordinary cabinet meeting would be convened on February 19 to "analyze the situation".

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