Nearly one-third of officials working in administration of State Revenue Service’s Finance and Customs Police had been making cash savings in 2014, as concluded by De Facto programme. In addition, more than half of those people have no deposits in banks.
Heads and their deputies had made savings worth more than EUR 160,000; from savings as little as roughly EUR 2,000 and up to EUR 87,000.
The biggest «cash savings» are those of deputy chief of Administrative Department of SRS Finance Police Jurgis Kijonieks – EUR 87,473.11. In comparison, he has only EUR 3,500 deposited in a bank. «It’s not normal. I cannot find a justification behind it! I am very surprised,» – says Kaspars Cerneckis, deputy of director general in the field of crime prevention. It is possible that it is thanks to Cerneckis that Kijonieks did not lose his job in SRS at one point.
Kijonieks stood as a witness in the case regarding illegal wiretapping into journalist Ilze Janalksne’s telephone conversations by Finance Police several years ago. Diena had written in one of its articles covering this case that Kijonieks had listened to part of the wiretapped footage. In addition, it was Kijonieks’ duty to uncover such breaches and find the guilty. Nothing of the sort was done. Later, Kijonieks lost access to official secrets. But his career did not end there. He continued working in SRS. When asked if it was his initiative, to keep Kijonieks in SRS, Cerneckis said: «I don’t remember. It was a long time ago. Maybe it was my idea. I assume it was. His knowledge and experience are extensive. It was decided to keep him in Finance Police; he knows the historic development of Finance Police, its evolution and all of its handled cases.»
It was Kijonieks who received the biggest share of inheritance from one Aleksandr Neiland (LVL 80,000). It is possible that man lived in Riga. Maris Vitols, head of Finance Police’s Administration Office, had received LVL 72,009.37 in inheritance from his father. One year before that, the father had given his son LVL 8,000. It was almost as much as Vitols’ annual income from work in Finance Police.
Dainis Pelniks, a colleague of Kijonieks, also has some major lending activities going on. The total worth of loans given by him in 2014 was EUR 80,000. Pelniks had carried out impressive deals during the real estate bubble peak in Latvia and had earned EUR 235,000 from those deals. He deposited some of that amount in different foundations. He has been keeping most of the money in cash, however. He did not give any answers to De Facto regarding his finances.
Following the doubts about the work ethic of certain officials of Finance Police, deputy director general Aigars Undzens looked rather tragicomically this week. During a press-conference organized by SRS to provide explanations regarding the cash savings of certain SRS investigators, Undzens was wearing an expensive Tag Heuer Carrera wristwatch. Social networks mentioned all kinds of different prices. It was Undzens himself who openly stated that he paid a little less than EUR 4,000 for the wristwatch. «I bought them for cash abroad. The price is low enough not to mention in the declaration,» – he explained. In 2008, he was paid nearly LVL 29,000 for his work in SRS. Undzens had kept cash savings at the time. It is odd, however, that he did not pay for such an expensive purchase using a bank card.