Ilmars Rimsevics, the governor of Latvia’s Central Bank, is currently held at the Corruption Prevention and Combatting Bureau of Latvia (KNAB), where he has already spent seven hours, amid the ongoing investigation into allegations of corruption, Sputnik correspondent reported on Sunday.
Rimsevics arrived at KNAB’s office around 18:00 local time on Saturday (16:00 GMT) and has been held at the office for over eight hours since then.
On Friday, the Latvian authorities searched Rimsevics’s office and home, while the governor’s alleged accomplice, businessman Maris Martinsons, was arrested.
KNAB is looking into allegations that an organized criminal group is operating in Latvia, whose members, using their official positions and political influence, have extorted bribes, in particular from credit institutions, according to the Diena media outlet.
Bank of Latvia governor detained amid new corruption probe
According to public media reports, Maris Martinsons, a businessman involved in various construction and payday loan businesses, has also been detained in connection with the probe, reportedly on suspicions of organized graft.
Latvian Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens commented on public radio Sunday that Rimsevics’ arrest poses serious risks to Latvia’s international reputation.
Latvia central bank governor Rimšēvičs detained by country's anti-corruption force t.co/sCSYCK3Xyk
Central Bank says "business as usual", during Rimšēvičs' "absence" his duties are performed by the deputy governor t.co/CIyidaW6EB #ECB pic.twitter.com/YPNWknJPcz
— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) February 18, 2018