Featured Latvia

‘Robber baron’ with famous friends set to lose her £40m property empire

Her website once described her as a “poet, mezzo-soprano, designer and exotic Uzbekistan beauty”. Or, as more critical voices have put it, a “robber baron” who purloined hundreds of millions of pounds in bribes. Now another facet of Gulnara Karimova has come to light: former neighbour of Sir Bruce Forsyth. Read More

Latvian anti-money laundering efforts get crucial recognition

A year-long crackdown on Latvian banks’ reputation for money laundering and sanctions dodging appeared to have paid dividends January 22 with official recognition of its success from an important international organization. The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism – MONEYVAL is a… Read More

In Europe’s Dirty Money Scandals, Bill Browder Sees Wilful Blindness

Officials in the United Kingdom and bankers throughout Scandinavia turned a blind eye to the influx of illicit Russian funds linked to Europe’s biggest money laundering scandals, according to a British financier and anti-corruption activist. In a recent interview for KYC360’s AML Talk Show, Bill Browder spoke to host… Read More
31st December 2019
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) removed its sanctions that had been imposed on the Ventspils Freeport Authority after Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs (For Latvia and Ventspils) resigned from the the Ventspils Freeport Authority and the Latvian government took measures effectively ending Lembergs’ control of the port, it follows… Read More
23rd December 2019
A new front is opening up in Europe’s battle with money laundering. After dirty-cash scandals involving hundreds of billions of euros rocked some of the continent’s biggest banks, the Baltic region — where one of the the biggest cases yet erupted — has begun a fresh clampdown. This time, the… Read More
23rd December 2019
Latvia’s financial watchdog said on Friday it had fined Swedish bank SEB a total of 1.79 million euros ($1.99 million)for lax anti-money laundering controls and for one case of violation of sanctions in the Baltic country. The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) said an inspection in 2017 of SEB… Read More
19th December 2019
Reeling from the fallout of a bribery scandal, Latvia’s central bank must become more transparent to clean up its image and must also push for greater transparency at the European Central Bank, its incoming chief Martins Kazaks said on Wednesday. The Latvian bank, one of the 19 central banks that… Read More
13th December 2019
Latvia’s parliament on Thursday passed legislation to take control over the Baltic country’s two biggest ports in an effort to keep them open after U.S. sanctions against a Latvian oligarch threatened operations. Latvian politician and businessman Aivars Lembergs and four entities that he owns or controls were hit by U.S. Read More
10th December 2019
The United States on Monday sanctioned Aivars Lembergs, the suspended mayor of Latvia’s seaport city of Ventspils and an oligarch with substantial influence in the country’s politics, over alleged corruption, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement. According to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Lembergs controls “entities… Read More
9th December 2019
Latvia’s financial watchdog said on Friday it had fined Baltic International Bank 1.56 million euros ($1.72 million) for lax anti-money laundering controls. The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) said in a statement that a review of the country’s eighth-biggest bank had shown it did not have an adequate control… Read More
5th December 2019
The firm at the heart of a company formation scheme opened accounts for high-risk customers at a bank part-owned by the Celtic boss Dermot Desmond, which had previously been implicated in a money-laundering scandal. Mr Desmond bought into Rietumu, one of the largest banks in Latvia, in 2005 for what… Read More
29th November 2019
The International Monetary Fund will examine efforts by Nordic banks and regulators to stop money laundering in the region and the Baltic countries, Sweden’s central bank said on Thursday, following a string of alleged lapses. Nordic banks have been hit by a steady stream of allegations over failures to combat… Read More
27th November 2019
After a string of bank closures and a high-level bribery scandal put it at the heart of Europe’s dirty-money storm last year, Latvia declared efforts to clean up its act a success. The Baltic nation of 1.9 million people, once seen by clients in the former Soviet Union as a… Read More