Latvian banks fined for breaching North Korea sanctions
Norvik Banka was fined around 1.3 million euros and Rietumu Banka about 1.5 million euros for not complying with anti-money laundering rules and counter terrorist financing requirements (AML/CTF), the Financial and Capital Market Commission of Latvia said in a statement.
"The measures taken in this case (are) a lesson to all the banks in Latvia not to be used for suspicious deals," Peteris Putnins, head of the watchdog, said in the announcement.
The banks, which mainly serve non-resident clients, were fined after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
The banks had allowed their clients to use offshore companies and a complicated chain of transactions to transfer payments to North Korea, thus bypassing international sanctions, between 2009 and 2015, according to the watchdog. ■