bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 23.11.2017 | Name days: Zigfrīda, Zigrīda, Zigrīds
LatviaLatvia

NP: SRS director to explain why Finance Police ended VAT scam case with Šlesers home

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe oligarch case viewed with new eyes forces questions not only about Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s and prosecutors’ ability to prove corruption, but also the efficiency of work performed by State Revenue Service’s Finance Police, Nekā personīga programme notes.

At the same time, the programme reports that the section of the oligarch case revolving around possible tax manipulations with the construction of former politician Ainārs Šlesers’ home has been revived and sent to investigators for repeated review.

«Ex-politician and businessman Ainārs Šlesers visited his house on the coast of the sea in Melluži this week. Gates of the fenced-off territory remain closed. Šlesers does not come out. The only thing he says on the phone is that he is a private individual and is therefore not obligated to speak with the press,» journalists detail their observations.

Journalists also mention that seven years ago, Šlesers, as Vice-Mayor of Riga, organized a meeting with journalists in that exact place. He was forced to do that because nature activists opposed chopping down trees in the protected area the politician picked as the spot for his family home, NP reports.

According to information from Nekā personīga, SRS did turn against Šlesers family’s owned company Avadel, requesting a payment of EUR 225,280 in VAT. SRS launched an audit in the company because there were suspicions about Šlesers, possibly, not paying all taxes during the construction of his private home.

Journalists also say that SRS officials were certain the company in question has no rights for VAT returns because ownership of the building belongs to Šlesers family, not the company. SRS also calculated the fine for the company. However, SRS Director General Nellija Jezdakova decided to end the case in November 2010. She cancelled the decision made by inspectors because be important documents surfaced. This allowed Avadel recover the entire VAT amount from the state budget.

It should be said that Ridzene talks have breathed new life into the case. There are also rumours of new contracts being in development for Šlesers family to lease houses from Avadel and, possibly, purchase them in the future. KNAB investigators think those contracts were signed retroactively.

Talks recorded by KNAB in Ridzene Hotel reveal that all cases were settled by SRS. Šlesers and Avadel board member Ivars Gulbis met at Ridzene Hotel in November 2010 – exactly when the unfavourable SRS’ decision was still in force. Šlesers and Gulbis agreed to look for a person who would resolve problems with SRS. It was mentioned in talks that a purchase intention contract was necessary. This contract would provide Šlesers family with the right to purchase the house after its completion, journalists say.

«Those documents surfaced in SRS at the last moment, creating suspicion that someone may have consulted them from the inside. The tax expert could not recall if any decisions regarding future intention documents were cancelled as part of the VAT case,» Nekā personīga reports.

In a conversation with Nekā personīga, tax consultant Ainis Dābols commented: «I’ll be honest, in more than 20 years of my career, SRS inspectors have never considered such contracts. The question is why this information was not available during the audit.»

It is also mentioned that KNAB sent a separated case involving Šlesers and Gulbis to Finance Police. An investigation was commenced regarding the possible tax avoidance by Avadel officials. Unfortunately, this case was ended abruptly on 30 December 2015.

The programme also presented an archive containing comments from former SRS Finance Police Chief Kaspars Podiņš: «The company was bought while the investigation was underway. The company that sold the house transferred more than EUR 300,000 to the state budget. This means no damage was done to the state budget.»

The tax expert interviewed by NP says that the end of the administrative case does not provide any reason to end the criminal case. This is because the criminal case assesses one’s responsibility for any fraud attempt that may have taken place.

Dābols: «It is definitely cannot be considered a good reason for ending a criminal process. That’s my opinion, at least. A similar example is when a thief steals a jar and returns it filled with jam – this does not mean he is not a thief.»

Journalists are unable to check if the company truly sold the house in 2015. Avadel’s annual accounts do not offer a full picture. But Šlesers family’s house does not have an extended construction permit. It has yet to be commissioned. Because of that, this property is not registered with the land book. Because of that, there is no need to report the deal.

SRS Director General Ilze Cirule told the programme: «If the analysis shows that there is room to uncover new facts, we are prepared to perform an audit for the past three years. We do that in critical situations.»

When asked if there is a reason to request such an audit now, Cirule said: «Right now I do not have a reason».

Ref: 225.109.109.5209


Leave a reply

Jerošenko: Ušakovs offers unhealthy policy, Concord is used as Lembergs’ «satellite party»

«Cooperation between Concord [also known as Harmony] and Airvars Lembergs’ Union of Greens and Farmers has always existed. It existed even before Concord first appeared in Riga City Council. The situation is the same in the Saeima, even though Concord is in the opposition. Still, in situations when one or the other matter important to Lembergs appears, one does not have to be a great politologist to notice the ties between those parties...

Bosnian Serb commander punished with life imprisonment for Srebrenica

The UN the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia handed a life imprisonment sentence to Ratko Mladić after it found the former commander of Bosnian Serb forces guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the 1990s during the Bosnian War.

EC positive about Latvia’s 2018 budget project

Based on the conclusion from the European Commission, Latvia’s budget project for 2018 fully fits conditions listed in the Stability and Growth Pact. In accordance with EC’s estimates, the structural balance of Latvia’s general budget is viewed at -1.8% of GDP. Government budget expenditures, on the other hand, are expected to grow by 7.1 percentage points.

Producer price level in Latvia declined 0.2% in October

Compared to September, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry dropped by 0.2 % in October 2017. Prices of products sold on the domestic market decreased by 0.5 %, while prices of exported products went up by 0.1 %.

Vaškevičs feels «harsh but fair» attitude from court justice system in Austria

Former deputy director of Latvia’s State Revenue Service Vladimirs Vaškevičs, who is accused of bribery and whose extradition from Austria has been a priority for Latvian authorities for some time now, says he feels «harsh but, thank God, fair» attitude from the Austrian court justice system.

Antāne: lost Russian cargoes have cost Latvia nearly 50 million in nine months

Latvia’s economy has lost nearly EUR 50 million in nine months because of missed Russian transit cargoes. While Russian Railway had approved 90% of oil and coal cargoes for transit through Ventspils port at the beginning of the year, this amount had declined to a mere 5% by September, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics President Inga Antāne.

In pictures: Museum of painter, Holocaust survivor Bak opened in Vilnius

In Vilnius, a museum to Jewish-Polish painter Samuel Bak has been opened. During the occupation of Lithuania by the Nazi Germany, the artist survived the Holocaust in the country.

Ratio of old people and invalids on a rise among unemployed people

The total number of unemployed people has been decreasing in recent years. However, the ratio of old people and invalids continues increasing in the ranks of unemployed people. On top of that, the number of lasting unemployed people remains high and largely unchanged in the country.

Saaremaa looking into possible ferry traffic to Latvia

The local government of the largest Estonian island is looking into possible interest of five shipping companies in opening ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Latvia.

Balta: exhaustion and overload are the most common causes for accidents at work

More than EUR 20,000 has been paid in compensations for injuries acquired at work this year so far, according to information from insurance association Balta. Compared with the same period of last year, the number of accidents has grown 40%.

Estonian town tempts population to reregister with spa in Latvia and 100 euro payment

The town of Keila, located 25 kilometres away from Tallinn, has started a one-and-a-half month campaign to motivate its residents to register back in the town as many of them have registered in the Estonian capital, which grants free public transport to its population.

EU to impose fine to Poland if logging in Białowieża forest not stopped

The European Court of Justice has issued to Poland a 15-day deadline to provide proof that the country has fulfilled the court's ruling to quit logging in the ancient Białowieża forest threatening with a daily fine of 100 000 euros if it fails to prove this.

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks: building restoration will be next year’s priority

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks plans to focus on improving technical state of its managed buildings. The company plans to restore several dozen buildings next year and up to 100 buildings a year in the next five years, says RNP chairman Aivars Gontarevs.

LCB: even deputies should fulfil their promises

Latvijas ceļu būvētājs, which is an association in Latvia with ties to multiple road and bridge construction companies, invites deputies to support the proposal for the restoration of the State Road Fund, BNN was told by the association’s chairman Andris Bērziņš.

Russia rejects claims of nuclear accident despite radioactive cloud over France

Russia has stated that a nuclear accident has not taken place in its territory although its weather service has found high amounts of traces of a radioactive isotope.

Study: taxes for business in Latvia – the most attractive among Baltic States

Latvia’s tax system is the most attractive among Baltic States and 13th most attractive among 190 countries of the world, according to the latest study performed by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers on tax systems around the world.

Turkish journalist punished with prison term for tweet

A court in Turkey has sentenced on Tuesday, November 21, a journalist from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to three years behind bars over accusations of spreading terrorist propaganda in relation to a post on Twitter, which had been briefly on the microblogging site this spring.

Latvia – 35th country in the world ICT development-wise

This year Latvia reached 35th place in the world in terms of development of information and communication technologies, as mentioned in the latest report by UN International Telecommunication Union.

Instant payment infrastructure comes online in Europe

On Tuesday, 21 November, instant payment infrastructure will be introduced across Europe. On top of that, European banks’ founded EBA Clearing will also introduce its RT1 instant payment system. The European-level solution has also been coordinated with the instant payment processing infrastructure prepared by the Bank of Latvia in August 2017, as reported by the bank.

Police dismantle criminal group that caused damage worth seven million euros to the state

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police dismantled a criminal group in November 2017. A total of 34 searches were performed and two people were found suspect. The criminal group performed tax avoidance and money laundering operations, causing damages worth nearly seven million euros to the state, BNN was informed by SRS.

Zariņš: deputies who vote for the state budget without amendments will have breached their vows

It is unacceptable for the Saeima coalition to follow the Cabinet of Ministers and like the Cabinet of Ministers breach laws during the budget approval process, says Saeima member Ivars Zariņš, adding that deputies who vote for the budget without amendments will thereby have to breach the vow they had previously made to the Latvian nation.

Estonia’s ruling Centre Party shows door to 31 competing members

The leadership of Estonia's Center Party has accepted the proposals of the party's local branches on fellow members, who ran in the Estonian municipal elections this autumn from a separate list, and expelled 31 members from the political party.

Pabriks: state interests should be held higher than party interests

Latvia cannot be allowed to drown in provincialism. It is in the country’s interest to maintain a course towards European and NATO values. In a situation when the number of centric and European-oriented parties is large, it is becoming harder and harder, because it leads to political fragmentation, and the main goal of it is reaching the 5% barrier during elections, not ensuring growth and development for Latvia, says MEP Artis Pabriks.

Reacting to e-commerce growth, Omniva rushes to expand its parcel locker network

Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post, which operates the Omniva brand, stated that it will broaden its network of parcel lockers expand its current parcel machines up until Christmas.

Programme: introduction of ‘honest’ taxi counters is stuck

Taxi drivers that had to replace their counters as far back as 15 October, continue delaying the process, as reported by De Factor with reference to State Revenue Service.