Latvian bank asks US to hold off money laundering sanctions
RIGA, Latvia – Latvian bank ABLV has rejected the U.S. government's findings that it "institutionalizes money laundering" and helps evade sanctions as "hyperbolic," saying they refer to old practices it has now changed.
ABLV was accused by the U.S. Treasury in February of encouraging money laundering, facilitating financial transactions for sanctioned entities like the North Korean government, and bribing local officials to keep doing so. The U.S. proposed cutting ABLV off from the U.S. financial system, a move that caused a run on the bank and its collapse about a week later.
In its official response, published Friday by its law firm, ABLV says the U.S. report often used years-old evidence that did not take into consideration recent improvements in the bank's practices. It asks that the U.S. hold off its proposed sanctions.