Latviski English По-русски
Saturday 25.01.2020 | Name days: Sigurds, Zigurds

Andris Ameriks steps down as Vice-Mayor of Riga

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe vice-Mayor of Riga Andris Ameriks has decided to step down. He announced his decision at a press-briefing on Monday, 17 December.

Ameriks will remain a deputy of Riga City Council. He mentioned during the press-briefing that his decision is not in any way associated with Rīgas satiksme’s procurement projects and the possible illegalities in them, as reported by

He explained his decision to step down with the matter of reputation: «In a situation when an investigation regarding different illegalities is being performed at Riga City Council, I believe my reputation the reputation of Riga City Council and my party is at risk».

He also explained how he knows businessman Māris Martinsons, who was recently detained by authorities as part of Rīgas satiksme’s corruption case. «I’ve known Māris Martinsons for many years, a decade even. I believe this is the main root for all suspicions against me. I have never participated in or organized any illegal deals since I’ve known him,» said Ameriks.

He also said not a single law enforcement institution has noticed anything wrong with his declaration.

As reported by TV3 programme Nekā personīga, a search has been performed in Ameriks’ home as part of the corruption case commenced by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Taureņu bathhouse, where CPCB had recorded to conversation between Māris Martinsons and Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, became the beginning of the a new investigation into the years-worth of schemes at Rīgas satiksme. Conversations recorded in the bathhouse revealed a closed group of people who objective was making sure part of the millions diverted to RS for procurements ended up in specific people’s pockets as bribes. CPCB reveals this group was involved in at least three procurements of trolleybuses, buses and trams, with the total worth of procurements exceeding EUR 270 million.

Matrinsons and Ameriks are linked by business deals. In 2010, Ameriks lent Martinsons’ Prosperity Financing Limited half a million euros. According to information from Nekā personīga, the same offshore company owned by Martinsons was one of the owners of 4Finance. In 2014 and onward, Ameriks and his son stated in their declarations that they had purchased shares of 4Finance and Mogo. The two fast loan companies hidden behind offshores have a lot in common. Since 2014, Ameriks and his son have received more than EUR 600,000 in interest from those companies.

Aleksandrs Krjačeks, whose company was likely used to process the money intended as bribes, is the founder of Ameriks’ Honour to Serve Riga political party. In six years he has donated more than EUR 70,000 to this party. Krjačeks has also provided support to Harmony, but with more modest amounts. Ameriks, however, distances himself from Krjačeks and claims the latter will be excluded from the party. Ameriks was also mostly silent about CPCB’s performed search in his home, Nekā personīga reports.

Representatives detained as part of the RS corruption case may be sentenced for up to ten years in prison. Admitting the recipient of the bribe would reduce the sentenced.

LTV programme De Facto reports that Ameriks, who refrained from admitting if his office and home was searched by CPCB, could not explain the video in which he is seen together with Māris Martinsons in some restaurant in Minsk. Martinsons was arrested as part of a criminal process following a request from CPCB last week. His is suspected of organizing money laundering services, as reported by De Facto.

Leave a reply

Development of areas along Rail Baltica line will require investments worth EUR 300 million

In order to implement infrastructure development projects along Rail Baltica line in Riga, it will be necessary to secure investments up to EUR 350 million in the next ten-year period, as reported by Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs.

Olainfarm shareholders fail to convene due to lack of quorum

Because of the lack of quorum, the extraordinary meeting of Olainfarm shareholders originally scheduled for Friday, 24 January, did not take place. It was planned to discuss changes to the company council during this meeting, as reported by the company’s representative Ieva Lapiņa-Ennīte.

EY: investors more optimistic about Latvia’s economic competitiveness

Last year, investors’ opinion of the competitiveness of Latvia’s economy improved for nearly all indexes, as reported by EY Latvija representatives.

Bulgaria accuses three Russian citizens for poisoning of arms producer

Three Russian citizens have been charged by Bulgaria over the attempted murder of an arms producer and another two Bulgarians using a poison. One survivor believes there is a link with the poisoning of the Skripals in the United Kingdom.

Ignoring sanctions, Ventspils City Council approves budget created under Lembergs’ watchful eye

In spite of sanctions imposed by USA, Ventspils City Council approved the city’s budget for 2020, which came to be under absolute influence from Aivars Lembergs, on Thursday, 23 January, BNN was told by opposition deputy Aivis Landmanis.

Estonia eyes one-year prison sentence for first-time drunk drivers

Estonian government ministers have proposed harsher sanctions for drunk driving. Their initiative comes after three people got killed in a crash, where a heavily intoxicated driver was involved.

Latvian residents trust National Armed Forces the most and the Saeima the least

Latvia’s residents trust the country’s National Armed Forces and the president the most and the Saeima the least, according to the survey performed by Latvian National Security Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre.

In China, coronavirus claims more lives as transport limitations put in place

The Chinese outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus has reached the death toll of 26 people, meanwhile, authorities are trying to keep it from spreading introducing transport movement limitations in at least 10 cities.

Information about VDD new office building’s construction costs is a state secret

Although some media have mentioned different amounts of money the construction of a new office for the State Security Service at the location of former Marss cycling track may cost, the service reports that this information is considered a state secret.

Kariņš: Latvia is no longer the younger brother – our country’s voice is heard

Latvia is no longer the younger brother on the international arena – our country is heard and its opinion is taken seriously, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš at annual foreign policy debates on Thursday, 23 January.

Poland passes law on limiting public actions, statements of judges

The Polish Sejm has passed a draft law that sets forth limiting the say of judges over justice appointments, court reform and politics. The limitations have been widely criticised abroad.

Linkaits: banks once again service Ventspils Freeport terminals

The situation with Ventspils Freeport is gradually becoming more relaxed. On top of that, banks once again service port terminals there, as Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits affirmed in a conversation with journalists on Thursday, 23 January.

Aivars Lembergs picks ex-prime minister’s freelance advisor Grudulis as his lawyer for debates

The suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs, who is also accused of committing serious crimes and is under US sanctions, has picked once the prime minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis’ freelance advisor Māris Grudulis as his lawyer for debates in court, as was announced in court on Thursday, 23 January.

What is Lithuanian President’s main reason to skip Jerusalem Holocaust forum?

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has unexpectedly flip-flopped on where and how to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland. First, he said he will attend the commemoration in Jerusalem, but then changed his mind to pay homage to the Jewish victims in Auschwitz, in Poland. The reason? Well, there is no clear official reason for that – President’s Office did not provide one.

Audit: Rail Baltica slowed by poor risk management and slow progress with municipalities

Delays and cost increase of Rail Baltica project is heavily affected by no risk management and no strategy, as well as slow progress in cooperation with municipalities and passive alienation of properties, Latvian State Audit concluded in its latest report.

China stops public transport in two cities over coronavirus

In China, a new strain of coronavirus has claimed the lives of 17 people. To keep it form spreading, local authorities have stopped the public transport to and from the cities of Wuhan and Huanggang.

BNN investigation | Rebenoks and Krieķis may have plans to return to Olainfarm board despite ties to serious crimes

Ex-Olainfarm officials Mārtiņš Krieķis and Pāvels Rebenoks, the latter also serving as Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro’s advisor, may return to the company’s board to, possibly, continue walking «well-travelled path» paved with non-transparent deals, according to information available to BNN.

In Estonia, forgetting to register child’s name can lead to municipality choosing it

Estonian law obliges parents to register the name of their child in a month’s time after giving birth. In the unlikely case of them being late, the law opens right to a local municipality to choose it.

Change of concept? Viesturs Kairišs becomes Dailes Theatre’s artistic director

Dailes Theatre’s board member Juris Žagars has picked Viesturs Kairišs as the theatre’s new artistic director, as journalists were told by Žagars on Thursday, 23 January.

Lukashenko: Belarus needs to diversify its oil imports, introducing Baltic supplies

As Minsk and Moscow are in talks to solve a dispute over the continuation of oil imports from Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Russian supplies could be cut to 30-40% of Belarus’ total imports.

Minister does not exclude possibility of number of municipalities in Latvia increasing

The Administrative Territorial Reform offers reducing the number of municipalities to 39 in Latvia. Still, it is possible there may be one or two more, said Latvian Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Thursday, 23 January.

Thirteen people die from influenza in Latvia

Three people died from influenza in Latvia last week, increasing the number of victims to 13 for this year’s flu season, according to monitoring data of acute upper respiratory tract infections published by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

Lithuania tries to halt haulage firm exodus to Poland with new tax

Lithuania is introducing a new «exit tax» to keep road haulage firms from relocating to other European Union member states. The firms say that other ways of moving business abroad will be used.

Corruption fighters: corruption perception indexes decline in Latvia in 2019

Latvia’s positions had worsened slightly in 2019 in global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International composed Corruption Perception Index.

UK parliament passes draft Brexit law

In London, the draft law on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has been finally passed by the Houses of Parliament after years of inability of British legislators to decide on their preferred way out of the bloc.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!