European Central Bank Puts Onus on Latvia in Graft Probe

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — The European Central Bank says it doesn’t have the power to investigate money laundering in individual nations, a thinly veiled hint that it is up to member state Latvia to clear up its ongoing corruption scandal.

The ECB issued a statement Thursday saying that fighting money laundering is done by member countries. The ECB, it says, “doesn’t have the investigative powers to uncover” any deficiencies in national governance.

Ilmars Rimsevics, who is Latvia’s central bank chief and sits on the ECB’s policymaking council, is being investigated in Latvia for suspected bribery. The Associated Press has further reported on accusations he is linked to money laundering from Russia.

The ECB, which is typically quick to defend its council members from pressure from national governments, has been silent about Rimsevics’ case.

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