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U.S. to block major Latvian bank, citing ties to money laundering

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department plans to sever ties between one the Baltic’s biggest banks and U.S. markets, charging the financial institution with laundering billions of greenbacks in illicit budget, together with for corporations hooked up to North Korea’s banned ballistic missile program, the Trump management stated on Tuesday.

The hardly used motion, a part of a broader power marketing campaign in opposition to North Korea and Russia, is one in every of Treasury’s maximum robust gear. The sanction makes Latvian-based ABLV Bank, which is headquartered in Riga however has an administrative center in Luxembourg, a pariah to different monetary establishments and cuts get right of entry to to the greenback and investment flows from the arena’s maximum necessary marketplace.

Because it may be a dying blow to banks, Washington has handiest used the sanction a handful of occasions within the final decade. ABLV stated in a observation that FinCen’s allegations had been unfounded and the financial institution added it “shall make every care to rebut this outrageous defamatory information.”

Sigal Mandkelker, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and monetary intelligence, stated the financial institution treated transactions for corrupt politicians and funneled billions of greenbacks in public corruption and different unlawful proceeds via shell-company accounts. The establishment acted as a monetary bridge between consumers essentially within the former Soviet satellite tv for pc international locations and Western banks, permitting shoppers to faucet international accounts, Treasury stated.

An expanded model of this document seems on WSJ.com.

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