Businessman and ex-Prime Minister Andris Skele had once asked a two million bribe from Julijs Krumins in exchange for permission to build a terminal on Kundzinsala, Krumins announced during an interview to Viens pret vienu programme of LTV.
According to the businessman, his previously owned company Man-Tess had already invested eight million to build the necessary pipelines and dock. Gundars Bojars, then the head of Riga City Council, and head of Riga Freeport Leonid Loginov had both expressed support for the terminal’s construction. The only thing left to ensure the terminal’s construction was the vote, lsm.lv reports with reference to the programme.
Three days before the vote, however, Krumins was contacted by Loginov, who said the outcome of the vote may turn out negative and recommended meeting immediately to discuss it. «I met with Loginov. He said I would have to meet with beard [Andris Skele]. I asked him why. Loginov said because Edmunds [Krastins] decided to ask for a two million bribe, and if this amount is not provided, the vote would not go in my favour,» – Krumins said.
After this conversation, Krumins met with his former classmate, co-owner of Itera Latvija, Juris Savickis. Ainars Gulbis took part in this meeting as well. They recommended Krumins to meet with Skele and reach an agreement of acceptable conditions.
Krumins said he was prepared to pay the requested two millions, but only in two years’ time – after the terminal is complete. «I was prepared to sign everything and pay the amount in two years. They said they know Andris and that it would be better to pay immediately,» – Krumins recalled the conversation that took place many years ago.
«But I am no fool and I am obstinate,» – said the millionaire, adding that he refused to pay and Skele and the project fell through. Krumins did not turn to the prosecutor’s office about this case because he saw no point in it.
Krumins noted, however, that other businessmen told him about similar cases when Skele requested bribes from them to permit the development of their projects. The situation is similar for businessmen in Ventspils, where Aivars Lembergs’ word is the law.
Krumins calls Lembergs and Skele legal thieves who own nothing but are also the richest men in Latvia.
According to information from LETA, Krumins means the period several years ago, when Gundars Bojars became head of Riga City Council and Krastins was head of Riga City Council’s City Planning Committee.
Krastins told LETA that Krumin’s statement about the requested bribe was nothing more than blatant lie.
«We [People’s Party faction in Riga City Council] always supported Julijs Krumins terminal project even though it was not popular with people. We voted for it, but the project did not receive enough support. Considering the low popularity of this project, we decided to discontinue support for it. I believe now Krumins wants to pay me back for that,» – Krastins told LETA.