Latvian central bank governor arrested by anti-corruption officers

ECB Intervenes for Latvian Bank Accused of Helping N. Korea

The governor of Central Bank of Latvia, Ilmars Rimsevics, aged 52 years, was detained during early hours of this Sunday after being interrogated by officers of Office for Prevention and Control of Corruption (KNAB), as reported by Agency.

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. Rimsevices was detained by the KNAB Saturday evening and questioned for about seven hours before being taken to another location at about 1:30am Sunday, said a BNS journalist at the scene.

HERE is the statement made by Prime Minister Maris Kuńćinskis. "The office (KNAB) is working professionally", Kucinskis told BNS, the Latvian news agency.

The head of the Latvian central bank returned to Riga from a foreign trip on Saturday evening and was driven by his lawyer to the Corruption Prevention Bureau's office where he was interrogated for almost eight hours.

He explained that both he and finance minister, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, are closely following case and Monday morning an extraordinary Council of Ministers will be held to discuss situation of Latvian banking system. Investigators suspect that an organized criminal group, which has been operating in Latvia for quite a long time, has been using its members' office powers and political influence to extort bribes, including from credit institutions.

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

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