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Monday 24.10.2016 | Name days: Renāte, Modrīte, Mudrīte

Meroni: Lembergs’ possible share of money will be 100% safe

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe share of the EUR 80 million that was paid for stocks of Ventspils nafta and could potentially end up in the hands of the criminally accused Aivars Lembergs will be absolutely safe, says one of the organizers of the transaction, Lembergs’ former lawyer from Switzerland Rudolf Meroni.

LTV programme De Facto reports that Ventspils nafta stocks that were sold last week were previously owned by Latvijas naftas tranzīts, which is managed by Ventbunkers. The latter, on the other hand, may be secretly owned by the legally restricted and criminally accused Mayor of Ventspils – Aivars Lembergs. His assets, including secretly owned ones, have been arrested by the prosecutor’s office as part of the so-called Lembergs criminal case.

The programme tried to find out where the EUR 80 million paid for stocks will end up and whether or not the state can recover part of this amount should the court decide to collect from the accused.

Chairman of Ventbunkers and Latvijas naftas tranzīts councils Rudolf Meroni explains that no payment of dividends is currently planned. Instead, it is planned to invest this money: «We will invest this money in a safe way. The problem is that it is not easy to invest such large amounts of money. Interest rates offered by international banks are negative. We will try investing to make money.»

Meroni promises that the share of the money that could potentially end up in Lembergs’ hands will remain safe in the company. «The portion of the money that is indirectly owned by Lembergs’ group will remain safe in the company; it will not be touched. The court will decide where this money goes: to the state or to Lembergs,» – said Meroni in his interview to De Facto.

Lembergs has denied owning more than a single share in Ventbunkers up until now. It is stated in his declaration. Prosecutors believe Lembergs owns two-sevens of Ventbunkers.

The sale of Ventspils nafta stocks to Vitol was carried out as part of a larger peace plan in Ventspils. Without this agreement, it would not be possible for things to settle down between the warring businessmen.

Meroni, who is basically in charge of everything that happens in Ventbunkers, denies claims that he intends to buy stocks from other stockholders. He does say that it is possible that multiple stockholders or groups will leave Ventbunkers as a result of the peace plan.


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