Online--Why is Rietumu Bank and Latvia a dangerous place for Offshore banking?
Reaching a time when everyone moves and relocates it's Offshore accounts to Asia, one must ask if Latvia and Rietumu bank is safe, the answer is clearly no!
The recent case that Rietumu bank has been facing shows how dangerous it might be to bank offshore with Latvian banks.
Indeed in December 2012 the french Financial Police arrested the Rietumu bank representative in France for alleged tax fraud assistance while opening non reported offshore accounts. The bank was placed under investigations and had to pay a multi million euros guarantee or to provide it's full list of clients to the ongoing head of investigation.
Useless to say that the bank management have not been waiting long to provide the full list of offshore companies and beneficial owner, providing the complete set of documents including the relevant confidential documents demonstrating the ultimate beneficial owner and it's power of attorney documentation.
Nearly 2000 accounts were given through the help of Latvian police which had acted according to the tax assistance directive in force in Europe.
Latvia used to be considered a safe place for earnings of former USSR clients willing to hide their money in a safe country. If the funds are considered to be safe in Latvia from the investment and risk perspective, it is however risky to open an account with a Latvian bank if you are an EU beneficial owner as it's not only a European risk that you have against you but a serious criminal case that may put you in troubles.
If you are an EU resident, if you live in France, Germany, Italy and so on, do not take the risk of placing your assets in Latvia, the Latvian government is extremely reactive to participate in all exchange information. They are willing to demonstrate to the other EU State Members that they act according to the rules, and you might be the victim at the end of the road.
Where to put your money nowadays? Let's start from the beginning, go away to Asia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. There are plenty of safe heavens with absolutely no exchange information agreements, but Latvia is definitely the country to blacklist after what www.rietumu.com has demonstrated.