Latvia continues to lag in money-laundering investigations, sustaining the Baltic country’s reputation as a hotbed for shady monetary dealings. Out of over 17,000 questionable transactions, only 85 investigations emerged, according to an investigation by Reuters.
In 2015, the OCCRP reported on the theft of US$1 billion from three banks in Moldova, some of which moved through Latvian accounts. This was after OCCRP revealed the details of the Russian Laundromat, a massive money-laundering and financial crime ring that moved more than $20 billion in stolen money from Russia to the European Union via banks in Moldova and Latvia.
Latvia became a haven for Russian and other former Soviet states to conduct business in Western markets after its independence from the Soviet Union. Much of the US$ 15 billion that Latvian banks currently have from foreign customers come from Russia, reported Reuters.