Probe finds no proof of money laundering at Latvian bank
Latvia's anti-corruption agency Knab this week said it had found no evidence of money laundering at ABLV, Latvia's third-largest bank - two years after US financial authorities accused it of corrupt dealings. ABLV denied the allegations at the time, but Latvia's Financial and Capital Market Commission nevertheless put the bank's operations on hold at the European Central Bank's request.
The damage is irreparable
The allegations of the US authorities were simply false, Neatkarīgā comments with annoyance:
“ABLV Bank was broken up and the reputation of the bankers ruined. Latvia has received a clear signal that our country's commercial banks are not wanted on the global financial market. ... However, the fact that no evidence was found does not mean that ABLV Bank will now be reborn, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, and fly back into the financial market. The only thing the bank officials and owners can be glad about is that the criminal proceedings have been concluded, meaning that the restrictions they entailed have been lifted.”
Proof of nothing - except incompetence
Diena, on the other hand, is harshly critical of the Latvian anti-corruption authority:
“The Knab's decision leaves not only the US financial authority Fincen, but also Latvia in an uncomfortable situation in the eyes of the Americans. In two years we have not been able to prove what the Americans have presented as a fact. Instead we have said that the American claims are false - but without providing any proof of this either. As if nothing had been done over the last two years during which Latvia has had to endure the heavy repercussions of Fincen's statements. ... The most important thing the Knab decision reveals is the inability and unwillingness to investigate corruption at the highest levels.”