Arturs Zolotihs, who has ties to Harmony and is accused of organizing trade of stolen cars, has been chosen as the new manager of Riga Central Market’s meat pavilion, as reported by Ir magazine.
Zolotihs is 29 years old. Police took notice of him shortly after his twentieth birthday. Zolotihs and five other youngsters were held suspect in September 2009 for selling stolen cars.
The criminal case was viewed by two courts. All members of the group were found guilty, but the ruling has yet to come into force because one of the accused has submitted a cassation complaint. Zolotihs was found guilty and sentenced to suspended prison sentence of one and a half years.
It is mentioned in the charges raised against the group that they stole cars and sold them by scrapping those cars for parts. The investigation determined that two stolen Audi cars were bought in July 2009. Another stolen Audi was bought in September. The group failed to sell off the last car because the police apprehended them.
Riga District Court declared its verdict in the criminal case in April last year. One of the accused – Anatoly Karpovs – appealed it. On 25 January 2017, Riga Regional Court decided to leave the ruling of the first instance court in force. Only one of the accused received a real prison sentence – Vadim Dubrovskis.
Zolotihs’ lawyer Vladimirs Kelims says that his client had admitted his guilt at the very beginning and has accepted his sentence. Shortly after his arrest in autumn 2009, Zolotihs spent half a year in prison, as that was the court’s applied security measure.
Since July last year, Zolotihs has been working as the manager of Riga Central Market’s meat pavilion. Ivars Jakovels, representative of the central market, claims Zolotihs got his post as a result of the personnel selection process. He was picked as the best because he has prior experience working as a head of a retail store.
The company has no information on its hands about Zolotihs’ criminal past. «But thank you for this information. We will check it soon,» said Jakovels, adding that the market will await the court’s ruling and then decide if the fact that one of the market’s employees has a criminal past can impact his future career.
Zolotihs was given a job in Riga municipality’s enterprise after Andris Morozovs became a member of Riga Central Market’s management board. Morozovs and Zolotihs have ties in sports. Morozovs had founded sports associations in which Zolotihs had been a member. Both of them refused to comment how Zolotihs came to be the manager of the central market’s meat pavilion.
Zolotihs’ photos posted on his Facebook page depict him doing sports with Saeima deputy from Harmony Andrejs Elksnins. Zolotihs was also seen taking part in the piquet against the sale of Citadele bank in 2014. This piquet was organized by Harmony and its associated organizations before the Saeima elections.
Riga Central Market 100% belongs to Riga municipality and Harmony’s leader Nils Usakovs is the shareholder’s authorized representative.