Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards has begun to openly lie about his family’s property in Old Riga and its acquisition process: in order to justify its purchase for an absurdly low price, the minister told the media about a non-existent family member, as reported by Pietiek.
According to the entry in the Land Book and State Revenue Service’s database, the 50 m2 studio was bought by Gerhards’ wife in 2004. The official price was less than LVL 120 per 1 m2, as reported by the portal.
«The family of Minister Kaspars Gerhards’ wife has been living in Old Riga since 1960s. In accordance with legislation of that time, the family privatized the property with privatization certificates. All fees and related payments have been paid for owned properties. All real estate transactions were carried out in accordance with legislation of the Republic of Latvia,» – as reported by Gerhards’ representative.
However, Vita Gerharde’s owned property in Old Riga, Klostera Street, has two apartments that are combined into one residence with a total area of 116 m2. According to experts, the market price of this property may be at least EUR 300 thousand.
One of the aforementioned properties could have been acquired through privatization, according to information from the Land Book. This is because there is no information available about the previous owner. This way Vita Gerharde acquired a 66.4 m2 apartment in Old Riga, Klostera Street 9/11 for LVL 4,068.
There is also a second apartment: the one Vita Gerharde acquired in 2004. This apartment is situated in the same building. It is a 50.6 m2 large studio that was never privatized by Gerhards family, according to information from the Land Book.
In reality this apartment, according to data from the Land Book, was privatized by a totally different person – 1936-born Gaidars Jekabsons. When asked who this Gaidars Jekabsons is to the Gerhards family, neither the minister nor his representatives can say.
SRS database contains declarations from Gerhards and his wife. From these declarations it is clear that neither one nor the other family has ever had anyone with the name Gaidars Jekabsons.
From this person Gerhards’ wife managed to buy the 50.6 m2 large apartment by paying LVL 5,759 in 2004 – it is EUR 162 per 1 m2. In reality, 1 m2 of any apartment in Old Riga cost at least 5-10 times more at the time.
«There is no doubt that the necessity to share with the state in the form of taxes was circumvented in a very primitive way. The price of 1 m2 in exclusive properties in Old Riga could not have cost and most certainly did not cost LVL 115 per 1 m2. Even an apartment in Plavnieki cost more than that. Without a doubt the politician’s family had been involved in robbing the state of taxes,» – believes one real estate market expert.