LONDON — Latvia’s top banking official explained the “rules of the game” for successful banking in the small European country. His sidekick sat the owner of Norvik bank down, scribbling the sum on a piece of paper: 100,000 euros ($125,000) a month.
An international complaint filed by Latvian bank Norvik alleges that a “Senior Latvian Official” repeatedly sought “to extort monetary bribes” and retaliated against the bank when its owners refused to pay up. The 39-page claim, filed before a World Bank arbitration body, did not name the Latvian official.
That person is Ilmars Rimsevics, Norvik bank officials told The Associated Press.
Rimsevics, the country’s top banking official and a key member of the European Central Bank, was detained Saturday amid swirling accusations of bribery and money laundering schemes in Latvia that reach back to Russia.
He was released on bail Monday, and said he “rejects everything” about the allegations, Latvian state TV reported.