KNAB has not identified corruption in “Latvijas dzelzceļš” according to information provided by Linkaita last year – Society and Politics – News

In the departmental inspection, KNAB evaluated the information provided by the Minister of Transport on possible corrupt transactions in LDz. As a result of the inspection, the KNAB did not find that the company’s officials had committed criminal activities related to corruption.

On May 7 last year, Linkaits announced that he had expressed distrust to the then Chairman of the Board of LDz Edvins Bērziņš and two members of the Board – Aivars Strakšas and Ainis Stūrmanis.

The Minister informed that the main allegations are related to a possible distortion of competition, which threatens to have serious consequences for both LDz and the State of Latvia. The Minister had also received information about possible corrupt transactions, handing over the relevant information to the KNAB for investigation. A number of financially large business transactions were also identified, including multi-million euro marketing and advertising contracts, which led the Minister to believe that the Board had not acted as a prudent and diligent owner.

Linkaits said at the time that he did not want to disclose more specific information about possible corruption, but confirmed that it was related to transactions that have taken place now and in the recent past. On the other hand, there are suspicions regarding marketing and advertising agreements that not all of them have been concluded for the respective purpose, as a large proportion of advertisements is concentrated in two cities – Ventspils and Dobele. Linkaits also emphasized that there is no reason to think that LDz advertisements would have a larger target audience in these cities.

Despite the above, the KNAB continues to investigate in criminal proceedings about the establishment of a possibly illegal structural unit in LDz. In February of this year, the prosecutor’s office announced that it had initiated criminal proceedings for the establishment of a possible illegal structural unit of LDz, as a result of which the company had suffered losses of almost one million euros in nine years.

The investigation was entrusted to the KNAB by the prosecutor’s office. KNAB agency LETA has now acknowledged that the pre-trial investigation is ongoing in the criminal proceedings, but in the interests of the investigation no further information can be provided, therefore it is not known whether there are suspects in the criminal proceedings or persons against whom criminal proceedings have been initiated.

In February of this year, Linkaits told the portal “Lsm.lv” that the Ministry of Transport applied to law enforcement authorities in connection with the amount of compensation paid to the former Chairman of the Board of LDz Bērziņš and member of the Board Straks.

The information at the disposal of Lsm.lv showed that the allegedly illegal structural unit LDz mentioned by the Prosecutor’s Office could be the Council of Presidents, which was declared illegal by the Constitutional Court a few years ago, however, this council was not liquidated either. On this basis, LDz former managers could also be paid such large compensations.

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