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Latvian central bank governor arrested by anti-corruption officers

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    Agence France-Presse

Riga, Latvia   /   Mon, February 19, 2018   /   09:21 am
Latvian central bank governor arrested by anti-corruption officers Rimsevices, who was appointed governor in 2001, was detained by officers from the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) on Saturday and questioned for seven hours before being taken to another location on Sunday, according to a journalist from the Baltic News Agency (BNS). (Shutterstock/File)

Anti-corruption authorities in Latvia arrested the governor of the country's central bank, Ilmars Rimsevices, the government said on Sunday, but there is "no sign of danger" to the financial system.

Rimsevices, who was appointed governor in 2001, was detained by officers from the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) on Saturday and questioned for seven hours before being taken to another location on Sunday, according to a journalist from the Baltic News Agency (BNS).

Local media said anti-corruption officers also staged raids at the governor's residence and at his offices at the Bank of Latvia.

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis confirmed the arrest and said there is currently "no sign of danger for the Latvian financial system".

"For now, neither me (as prime minister) nor any other official has any reason to interfere in the work of the KNAB. The office (KNAB) is working professionally," Kucinskis told BNS, the Latvian news agency.

"When KNAB considers it possible to give additional information to the public, it will do so," he added.

KNAB declined to comment.

As Latvia is part of the euro area, Rimsevices is also a member of main body of the European Central Bank (ECB), known as the Governing Council, composed of the 19 governors of the eurozone.

The government is due to hold an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday.

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis said on Twitter that he would meet the National Security Council to discuss the "situation in the banking sector", without specifying a date.