bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends
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

Exchange indexes reach new records; oil prices increase as well

Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index reached new record-high values on Tuesday, 17 October. US dollar value before euro and Japanese yen increased.

Anti-corruption protesters in Ukraine push for reforms

Three protesters and a policeman have been injured in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a crowd of anti-corruption demonstrators voiced their demands for reforms aimed at tackling corruption in the country.

«Islamic state» capital conquered by Syrian Democratic Forces

An alliance of Syrian-Kurdish fighters, which is supported by the U.S., has stated it has gained full control of Raqqa, which has been for three years the centre of the «Islamic state» regime.

Poland hopes Turkey would join EU

Polish President Andrzej Duda meeting his Turkish counterpart shortly before an European Union-Turkey summit has expressed a hope that the country located at the cross-roads between Europe and the Middle East would join the EU some time.

Number of people at risk of poverty in Baltics in higher than the average in EU

The ratio of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk in Baltic States is higher than the average in the European Union, according to Eurostat data compiled for 26 out of 28 member states in 2016.

E-voting defended in Estonia after criticism from party leader

Responding to claims from a leader of an Estonian political party that the country’s e-voting system lacks transparency, the head of e-Government Academy’s e-democracy department explained it was possible that the voters of one party are more active e-voters than supporters of other parties.

Residents’ mood worsens; people become more critical about their finances

Over the course of the past month, residents’ general mood has worsened significantly – declines have been noted on all positions analysed by the survey. Residents were critical the most in the survey about their material state – the index in this category declined from -9 to -11, according to the latest Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Antāne: Saeima’s National Economy Committee has heard the transit industry’s cry

Inga Antāne, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics, is satisfied with the decision that was made at the recent meeting of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, asking the Transport Ministry to develop and present a sustainable development strategy for the industry and putting an emphasis on raising the competitiveness of railway tariffs.

Latvian’s attitude towards combating cancer in late stages seems irresponsible

The attitude towards combating cancer in late stages in Latvia remains very low, says former healthcare minister of Latvia Ingrīda Circene.

Hydrogen-powered transport technology – a reality in Latvia

There are plans to establish a hydrogen refuelling station in Riga before the end of 2017. A publicly available H2 refuelling station in Riga would secure an inter-state network of hydrogen refuelling stations: the closest other station will be established in Pernava, says Association Zero Emission Mobility Support chairman Arnis Bergs.

Estonian ministry to collect 270 000 euros from IT company over failure to build information system

Tieto Estonia, the Estonian branch of Finnish IT firm group Tieto will compensate the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs 270,000 euros for the failure of the SKAIS2 project, the aim of which was the development of a new information system for the Estonian social insurance authority, but was deemed a failure in August.

Latvia invites Iran to act constructively to ensure security

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs participated in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, where he discussed about the role of Iran in the region and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in light of the upcoming report from US President Donald Trump to the Congress on Iran’s progress realizing the plan.

Vigil held in Malta over killing of investigative journalist

Several thousand people in Malta have taken part in a vigil held after news broke of the killing of an investigative journalist, who blamed Maltese government for corruption.

American exchange indexes reach record-high values; oil prices on the rise

In response to price rise of bank stocks, three leading indexes of US exchanges reached new record heights on Monday, 16 October. In addition, US Federal Reserve System manager Janet Yellen’s prediction regarding a soon inflation rise has increased confidence that base interest rate will increase in December.

54.14% more alcohol exported from Latvia; most of it to Russia

In the first eight months of 2017, a total of 102.259 million litres of alcoholic drinks was exported from Latvia, which is 54.14% more when compared with the same period of last year.

In pictures: Ireland hit by worst storm in 50 years

Three people have been killed in Ireland in the storm Ophelia, which cut off electricity networks to 120 000 homes and businesses in the country. Gusts of wind in Ireland on Monday, October 16, had reached the speed of 44 metres per second.

Tragic wildfires in Portugal and Spain

No less than 30 people have died in wildfires in Portugal and Spain.

Ašeradens to leave Latvian government at the end of November

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens intends to leave the government after approval of the 2018 budget in the Saeima, which is scheduled for the end of November, as confirmed by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.

Islamic extremists blamed for tragic terrorist attack in Somalia

The death-toll in a tragic terror attack in the eastern African state of Somalia has reached 320 people and local authorities have stated that a key member of the cell that allegedly launched the attack on Mogadishu has told them that al-Shabaab was responsible for the crime.

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks gets new management

From now on Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks will have a new chairman: once the head of Latio Namsaimnieks has been appointed as the new head of the company. The other vacant post has been given to Ardis Pāvilsons.

Catalonia misses ultimatum deadline, Spanish government vows to act after Thursday

The separatist Spainish region of Catalonia has missed the deadline to clarify, if it has declared independence and Madrid has received a letter from the President of the autonomous region, which still needs analysis.

What will be the consequences for companies that cheated with electricity production permits

Businesses that were caught using fake permits for electricity production in mandatory procurements will not have their permits extended, says Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Latvian tourist accommodation facilities experience increase of overnight guests

The number of nights tourists and other guests spent in Latvian hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities in the first eight months of 2018 has grown 12.2% in comparison with the same period of last year, reaching 3.524 million.

Antāne: transit industry has been on thin ice lately

«The transit industry has been on thin ice lately. Russia’s decision to divert all cargoes to its ports will only smash the ice. The government and state policy-makers have two choices – wait for the ice to break completely and watch the industry drown until finally stepping in, or act now to at least reduce the crisis for the country’s national economy, workers and their families,» says President of Baltic Association – Transit and Logistics Inga Antāne.

Kučinskis evasive in evaluation of Unity’s Economy Minister candidates

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis remains evasive when it comes to assessing Unity’s Economy Minister candidates.

Newest comments