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Latvian central bank head Ilmars Rimsevics detained

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Latvian central bank head Ilmars Rimsevics detained


Feb. 18 (UPI) — Governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmars Rimsevics was detained by the country’s anti-corruption agency Sunday.

Rimsevics’ home and offices at the Bank of Latvia were both raided by authorities, but the country’s Corruption Prevention Bureau gave no details about its investigation, or the nature of the raids.

The Bank of Latvia said its operations were not affected by Rimsevics’ detention, adding it is not in a position to provide comment on the Corruption Prevention Bureau’s actions.

“At the same time, we would like to stress that in our work we follow a zero-tolerance policy in respect of corruption and other illicit activities and, as in the past, we will continue to ensure all possible assistance to law enforcement authorities,” the bank said.

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis called an emergency cabinet meeting for Monday, sayng there are “no signs” of threat to the Latvian financial system.

Kucinskis also said he and other officials had no reason to interfere with the anti-corruption agency’s work.

“The institution works professionally and accurately,” he said.

Rimsevics’ lawyer, Saulvedis Varpins, said he considered his detention “completely illegal.”

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said Rimsevics’ detention would be explained Monday and called for him to step down to avoid damage to Latvia’s credit position.

“Each day that Mr. Rimsevics remains in the central bank’s leadership significantly worsens” the situation, Reizniece-Ozola said. “I think that at this moment, it would be wise if Mr. Rimsevics would at least during the course of the investigation step down.”

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