US urges Latvia to step up reform after money-laundering scandal

# 11:52
17 May 2019

Latvia came under renewed pressure to accelerate financial reforms as a senior US official, at a meeting with its prime minister, underscored the urgent need for stricter controls after a money laundering scandal, ONA reports citing Reuters.

His remarks come more than a year after the United States acted to shut down ABLV, a Latvian bank it said was linked to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, to money laundering and Russian corruption.

Marshall Billingslea, who heads the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the US Treasury, said during a visit to Latvia on Thursday that the Baltic state required “urgently needed legislation” that was “long overdue”.

“The new government is moving swiftly but there is a lot that has to be done,” said Billingslea, praising Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’s intentions but highlighting the need for results. “The proof is in the pudding.”