bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 17.08.2017 | Name days: Oļegs, Vineta
LatviaLatvia

Liepājas metalurgs transfers millions to firm involved in criminal proceedings

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Author: LETAWhile the Latvian state is trying time and time again to save Liepājas metalurgs (LM) from the brink of bankruptcy at the expense of the planned budget, the owners of the largest Latvian industrial plant pull off shady deals behind its back.

The millionaires of LM make it look as though they are poor, while politicians pay their debts. The shock about this whole situation is growing ever more in neighbouring countries of Lithuania and Poland, where many LM’s business partners are situated, as reported by Nekā Personīga (Nothing personal) programme of TV3. According to the programme, LM is cheating the state and part of its business partners.

It is clear, however, that it will not end with shock alone on the Polish border. LM has caused losses for a number of Polish companies, and one of them has decided to turn to court against LM.

Polcopper firm is one of the largest companies in the industry in Poland. Its main business direction is trading in metal scrap. LM and Polcopper became business partners last autumn. At the time, LM offered good prices for scrap. It seemed suspicious that, unlike other European partners, LM refused to insure bilateral transactions. The deciding fact, however, was that LM’s guarantee was the Latvian state. The Polish had agreed to supply Liepaja with scrap. LM paid for the supplies at first, but then the problems began. When the unpaid amount reached 2 million EUR, LM announced that it had ended up in financial difficulties. Polcopper representatives had met with LM’s owners – Sergei Zakharin and Ilya Segals. Some solutions were promised, but not money.

Polcopper understood that the industry is going through tough times and asked LM to make payments in the form of products – steel bars. Part of the debt was received, a whole ship was rented in order to transport the remaining part, but then LM suddenly refused the agreement. Then the Polish company decided to transport everything by land. When everything was prepared, LM informed them at the last moment that the revolving crane is broke. The Polish manager said it will get another one in Liepaja, but LM refused. In the end, LM’s lies surfaced – the Polish manager found out first hand that the crane is fully functional, and has been all the time. Only difference – LM had been sending cargo somewhere else.

Who was the recipient of the cargo LM had been sending while it was lying to Polcopper is anyone’s guess. It is known, however, that there is a firm in the general direction of Lithuania – Poland route. This firm was being covered by LM’s lies. It is this firm that received 4 600 000 EUR from LM. It is the Lithuanian Torlina. Its managers were previously arrested for fraud in the metal market.

Lithuanian prosecutor’s office is currently investigating the case relating to Torlina and LM. Investigators admit that it is rather complicated and has a long history.

“We can confirm that the investigation was initiated in 2010. It is being investigated on an international level. However, we cannot reveal any related facts just yet”, – press department manager of the Lithuanian prosecutor’s office Rita Stundiene reports.

Latvian State Revenue Service is also interested in this case. “All information from the side of tax administration – everything SRS has collected from submitted annual accounts, transaction partners and the public sector – we are currently analysing. The fact that we have not been issuing any public statements on this matter does not mean SRS has been inactive all this time”, – deputy director general of SRS for taxes Inara Petersone reports.

According to unofficial information, charges are being pressed against Torlina. It is being accused of supplying scrap to LM while defrauding taxes with the help from Cyprus registered Anjusoma trading limited. Lithuania has lost more than 700 thousand EUR because of this scheme. Latvia’s losses are currently estimated at 4 600 000 EUR, which LM had transferred to Torlina for services behind the back of the Latvian state. Both of LM’s largest shareholders have publicly said that LM has no money to pay the Italian UniCredit. In reality, the non-existing money was quietly transferred to its business partner.

“On April 12, 2013, LM performed a payment of 4.6 million to this Lithuanian company in spite of the fact that this payment was opposed by the state auditor at the company, as well as the State Treasury and Finance Ministry. The main reason for the opposition was that there were no clear arguments or criteria that governed the logic behind the payment. Moreover – following an evaluation of the arguments LM used to justify the payment, it is now clear that those were lies”, – says the Chief of State Treasury Kaspars Abolins. He added that it is impossible to cancel the payment.

Ever since LM informed the Saeima National Economy Commission that it is on the brink of insolvency (January 22, 2013), more than 25 million LVL have left the company. There are two main directions – the aforementioned Lithuanian Torlina and the UK registered Stemcor. This means that LM was lying to the State Treasury, freely managing its funds, while the state was forced to pay for the company’s debts the whole time.

“Yes, unfortunately this is no surprise, because we have seen in the past that working with shareholders, the plant’s management is hard and fruitless. The unacceptable has happened in this situation, because, in spite of the fact that the auditor had opposed this payment, the State Treasury had opposed this payment, the plant decided to perform it. This is why everything needs to be coordinated. Priorities need to be coordinated. We know that LM’s priority is to pay back the debt it owes UniCredit”, – Finance Minister Andris Vilks said.

When asked why a proctor was not appointed, but an auditor, Vilks replied: “Specifically so that the state would not have to take full responsibility for what is going on at the plant. We would all be shareholders by now. I believe we are not ready. We should not be ready for this at all.”

Both shareholders that are to blame for all this – Zakharin and Segals – refuse to give comments. According to unofficial information, they continue to present different conditions, including conditions that would protect them from the law.

Ref: 102.109.109.7246


Leave a reply

Latvia’s annual inflation in July was one of the highest in Europe

Inflation indexes in Latvia and the UK both reached 2.6% in July, which is one of the highest indexes in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Kirsis withdraws his candidacy in favour of Aseradens

Riga City Council member Vilnis Kirsis has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the race to become chairman of Unity in favour of a different candidate – Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

Rinkevics expresses Latvia’s interest in maintaining political consultations with Palestine

On Thursday, 17 August, Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the leader of Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Latvia, ambassador Taissir Al Adjouri, to discuss mutual relations between Latvia and Palestine and the peace process in the Middle East.

Putin grins to the world’s seven billionth baby, Lithuania wary of border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit this Wednesday to Kaliningrad, the westernmost point of Russia, but the reports about his trip in the Russian enclave and over the border in Lithuania were strikingly different.

Survey: red considered the safest colour for a car

Most Latvian drivers consider red to be the safest colour for a car. The most popular, however, is black, according to results of a survey by Virši-A fuel trader.

airBaltic’s number of carried passengers reaches a record in second consecutive month

Latvian airBaltic airline carried 393,312 passengers in July 2017, which is 21% more than the same period last year. The number of passengers carried by airBaltic remains the highest it has ever been in the airline’s history, BNN was informed by the company.

Brivais vilnis: nearly all fish processing companies are experiencing losses

Currently nearly all fish processing companies in Latvia are experiencing major or minor losses, says Brivais vilnis chairman Arnols Babris.

American helicopters to perform low-altitude flights within Latvia’s airspace

U.S. Air Force Brigade’s Task Force Phoenix helicopters, which are stationed in Latvia as part of Atlantic Resolve operation, will be performing low-altitude flights from 16:00 to 18:00 from Lielvarde to Dobele on Friday, 18 August.

Healthcare Ministry’s state secretary Karlis Ketners may be replaced

Latvian Healthcare Ministry may replace its state secretary Karlis Ketners. It is possible he will be transferred to work at Finance Ministry, as reported by LTV.

Suspects in Europe's insecticide egg scandal before Dutch court

In the Netherlands, two men have been in court in relation to the scandal of eggs containing banned insecticide that has caused an EU-wide health scare and cost millions of euros of damages.

Indian national with fake documents apprehended on Latvian border

An Indian citizen travelling from Moscow on a bus was caught at Terehovo border control point in Latvia for presenting officers a fake EU family member’s resident card. No criminal process was launched. The person returned to the country he was travelling from.

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.