Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 16.08.2017 | Name days: Astrīda, Astra

“Lembergs’ case”: Grasmane forgot why she was sending out orders worth millions

(+4 rating, 4 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIs it possible for a person to send out orders worth millions from an e-mail address and then fall ill with sudden memory loss? It is possible. This sort of thing happened to an administrator of a Ventspils transit business company Gita Grasmane, who was interrogated this Thursday in regard to acts of bribery tied to Aivars Lembergs’ criminal process and the so-called „scholars list”.

This long-standing employee, also known as “5% fund accountant” (it was her computer that contained Excel files that held information regarding scholars nicknames, abbreviations and money transfer data) could not explain how and why a number of cyphered payment orders were sent from her e-mail address to foreign countries.

The prosecutor’s office believes that money from Ventspils transit business companies was transferred to offshore companies and later divided among actual beneficiaries, including those considered suspects in the aforementioned criminal process.

Prosecutor Juris Juriss has told journalists that payment orders that were sent from Grasmane’s e-mail address were of considerable amount of money, some amount were as much as several millions of dollars. Grasmane, however, could not remember if she had, indeed, sent these e-mail messages. Even if she had, this was most likely ordered by her superior – Laimons Junkers, Delfi reports.

It should be noted that Laimonis Junkers, who is considered the cashier of Lembergs and his group, died in 2009 from heart failure. According to testimonies from his associates, he was responsible for the so-called 5% fund revenue and expenses. He was also allegedly involved in bribing politicians.

Lists acquired by the prosecutor’s office contain names and abbreviations for Zemnieks, ZZS, Pleskavas šoseja, Zaļie, J.P., D.P., ZZS, Zvaigznīšu brīdis, Mācītāji, Krāsotājs, Āpsis, Izkapts, Šoferis, Arājs, J.Lor., V.Krišt, A.G. and V.Birk.

In 2007, Junkers was held suspect in the Ventspils officials’ case. However, he then disappeared from Latvia shortly after. Authorities launched an international manhunt for him. In 2009, it became known that Junkers died from heart failure in Paraguay. His remains were buried in Ventspils. The Mayor of Ventspils attended his funeral as well.

Krists Skuja died the same year. He was considered one of Lembergs’ “black money” financial coordinator and the person who maintained Lembergs’ ties to politicians.

Information compiled by BNN ( shows that at least 13 people close to Aivars Lembergs had died during his “rule”. 33 out of 102 witnesses have been interrogated so far in Lembergs’ criminal case. Nine witnesses are currently being interrogated. 12 witnesses out of 102 are dead.

In her testimony, Grasmane stated that Junkers had poor computer skills. She herself says she rarely sends e-mails; prefers fax. Prosecutor’s office states e-mails were being sent regularly from Grasmane’s address. When asked about the contents of said messages, Grasmane said she did not go through them.

She could not explain to the court who had compiled those payment orders and how they ended up in her computer. She also stated it is unknown for her why her workstation was used to send out payment orders to other companies, Delfi reports.

Officially Grasmane’s Ventspils ekspedīcija loģistika KS company handles administrative activities.

The criminal case of the so-called “scholars” is still being handled by the prosecutor’s office since 2006. Abbreviations mentioned in lists and nicknames that seem rather similar to names of actual politicians and officials. However, this little fact does not prevent them from working in government, participating in election and receive salaries from the state budget. This will likely continue until the court rules out the guilty. Grasmane has spent almost six months in prison. He is currently held suspect. One of the central figures in this criminal case is Aivars Lembergs. He is believed to be the mastermind behind the division of money that goes through the 5% fund.


Leave a reply

Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits

The government decided on Wednesday, 16 August, that Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits, which were EUR 880,998.

Latvian citizenship provided to 103 people

The Cabinet of Ministers has issued an order to provide Latvian citizenship to 103 people through naturalization.

Estonian Inbank's profits reach EUR 5.7 million in six months

Estonian financial services' provided Inbank made a profit of 5.7 million euros in the first half of 2017, which is a 429.4% increase compared to the respective period in 2016.

Agriculture Ministry invites residents to sign up for measures to support fisheries

From 21 August onward, Rural Support Service plans to start accepting applications for projects to receive support from European Maritime and Fisheries Fund’s action plan for development of fisheries in 2014-2020 as part of projects Innovation, Productive Investments in Aquaculture and Fishing and Aquaculture project processing.

Estonia seeks to improve reputation of state as employer

As the Estonian Ministry of Finance wishes to boost the reputation and brand of the Baltic country's public sector, it has announced a procurement tender aimed at preparing an action plan for reaching these goals.

Warning: there may be short-term problems with Swedbank internet banking functionality

Because of Swedbank’s planned IT modernization work scheduled for the night to Thursday, 17 August, there may be short term problems with payment card and internet banking functionality, the bank warns.

Aseradens: neither Usakovs nor Lembergs should be allowed to become prime minister

If he became chairman of Unity, Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens would mobilize democratic forces to prevent the possibility of either Aivars Lembergs or Nils Usakovs becoming prime ministers, Aseradens said in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Caksa believes increasing wages for doctors would improve politicians’ credibility

The planned wage increase in healthcare could be the first step towards improving politicians’ credibility, says Healthcare Minister Anda Caksa.

Bill Gates donates USD 4.6 billion, reduces shares in Microsoft

The co-founder of the U.S. computer software firm Microsoft, Bill Gates, has allocated to charity 4.6 billion U.S. dollars (3.9 billion euros), which is the philanthropist's highest donation since the year 2000.

LOSP proposes using electronic packing slip system to reduce fraud

An electronic packing slip system for goods would be invaluable for agricultural goods, because it would help push out and reduce VAT fraud, says Latvian Agricultural Organisation Cooperation Council.

Latvia and Russia agree on exchange of additional 3,000 universal permits for cargoes

Latvia and Russia will exchange 7,000 universal permits for international cargo transports in 2017. This will be the largest universal permit volume in the past 15 years, as reported by Road Directorate.

Sierra Leone hit by tragic mudslide

A tragic mudslide has taken place in Sierra Leone, where flooding in the capital Freetown caused a mudslide, in which nearly 400 people have been have died.

Talks with potential KVV Liepājas metalurgs buyers to conclude in August

Talks with potential buyers of the insolvent KVV Liepājas metalurgs will conclude at the end of August, says representative of the company’s insolvency administrator Dzintars Hmielevskis.

Estonian e-Residency programme in deal with Paymentwall

International payments facilitator Paymentwall in collaboration with the Estonian programme of e-Residency program started this week Passport, a new service, with which businesspeople around the world will have the opportunity to found an EU company and access payment and other supporting services via internet.

Prosecutor: in parallel to Oligarch case, KNAB also worked on other cases

In parallel to the investigation of the so-called oligarch case, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau also continued working on other cases, said chief prosecutor Modris Adlers.

62.2% of Latvia’s population was employed in Q2 2017

Since Q2 2016, the employment rate in Latvia has increased by 0.8 percentage points. In Q2 2017, Latvian employment rate (62.6 %) was the highest recorded since Q2 2008 (63.1 %).

LIZDA: many uncertainties about education process appear just prior to the school year

Two weeks prior to the beginning of the new school year there are many uncertainties about the education process and teachers’ wages, said Latvian Education and Science Workers' Union chairperson Inga Vanaga in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Several candidates to compete for the post of chairman of Unity

Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens, deputy chairman of Unity Edvards Smiltens and Riga City Council deputy Vilnis Kirsis intend to compete with one another for the post of head of Unity, as confirmed by the party’s representative Elina Bivina.

City of Tallinn urged to quit paying PBK TV 500,000 euros

Tallinn city government should allocate the 500 000 currently spent per year in buying television programmes in the Russian-language TV channel PBK to the Estonian state Russian-language TV channel, ETV+.

Latvia’s wealthiest mayors – Lembergs, Sesks and Pozarnovs

Latvia’s wealthiest mayors in 2016 were Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, who remains suspended from his post due to multiple criminal processes against him, Liepaja’s Mayor Uldis Sesks and the new head of Baldone County Council Andrejs Pozarnovs, according to information from LETA.

DNB says it has no plans to change ATM system for its clients

Commission for money withdrawal from DNB Bank’s ATMs has been introduced by Swedbank and only for its own clients, DNB Bank’s representatives say.

Rinkevics proposes continuing cooperation with Switzerland

Switzerland’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Latvia Konstantin Obolensky says he is prepared to work to develop relations between the two countries, as well as maintain close ties with Latvian institutions and its people.

BATL: Augulis’ goal is reaching an agreement on increase of cargoes for Latvia

Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics has sent an invitation to Latvia’s Transport Minister Uldis Augulis and Russian Federation’s Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov to find a solution for the catastrophic situation with cargo flow from Russia.

Cargo of Nutella chocolate spread stolen in Germany

Thieves in central Germany have taken hold of a 20-tonne cargo of Nutella spread and Kinder chocolate eggs.

Criteria for provision of healthcare services may be announced next week

Criteria for qualifying for healthcare services may be announced by Healthcare Minister Anda Caksa next week.

Newest comments