Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Latvian court to consider central bank governor corruption case

The Latvian Prosecution Office said on 9 July it had handed a corruption case against former central bank governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs to a Riga court for consideration.

Rimšēvičs was detained by Latvian authorities in February 2018 and charged with accepting a €250,000 bribe from an unnamed commercial bank and laundering the proceeds of the crime.  

Rimšēvičs is also Latvia′s representative to the European Central Bank. He has denied all wrongdoing. 

China regulator fines UniCredit unit $1.5 million

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has fined a branch of Italian bank UniCredit 10.3 million yuan ($1.5 million) over allegations that an employee transferred “huge amounts” of money to external accounts without authorisation, Reuters reports.

The employee allegedly used a supervisor’s password to access clients’ accounts, which showed that the bank had severe loopholes on risk management and internal controls and insufficient prevention on moral hazard, according to the CBIRC.

The employee has been barred from the banking industry for life and the former president of the branch has been banned from senior management for two years. UniCredit did not respond to Reuter’s request for comment.

Hollande testifies in Brazilian bribery investigation

Former French president François Hollande was questioned by police in France earlier this month as a witness in a Brazilian investigation into a deal to buy fighter jets, according to reports.  

Brazilian authorities are examining the country’s purchase of Gripen fighter jets from Sweden’s Saab in 2013. Brazilian prosecutors are investigating whether former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva helped Saab win the tender.

Lula is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after he was convicted of corruption and money-laundering offences in February 2019. He continues to fight the conviction. 

Peru raids law firms and home of former first lady in Odebrecht probe

Peruvian prosecutors have raided the home of Nadine Heredia, the wife of the country’s former president, three Peruvian law firms and the homes of two former energy ministers as part of an ongoing Odebrecht-linked investigation, according to reports.

Prosecutors, who were in search of documents related to the construction of the Gasoducto Sur pipeline, reportedly did not find documents tied to the project at Heredia’s home.

The raided law firms are Baker McKenzie member firm Estudio Echecopar, Muñiz Olaya Meléndez Castro Ono & Herrera and Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría. Echecopar and Muñiz Olaya have not publicly commented on the raids. Philippi Prietocarrizosa reportedly said it is cooperating with the authorities.

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