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Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars
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BNN investigation | Raunas street property: quiet assistant with a «secret wallet» for Lembergs

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Aivars Lembergs, Valters un Rapa, Ligita Upīte, Raunas Street 27, important, recommendedThere are suspicions that Aivars Lembergs, subjected to international sanctions, has sold real estate located on Raunas Street 27 in Riga to his sister «on paper only». This may have been done to avoid confiscation of properties in the event of a guilty verdict or a possible arrest over the real estate property. However, it is possible Lembergs maintains full control over this real estate property and, most likely, the property is used to fatten his wallet on a regular basis.

The property lease for the use of the entire Raunas Street 27 signed by AS Valters un Rapa in 2003 serves as an example for Lembergs increasing his income using this real estate property. In the signing of this contract Valters un Rapa acted as an association Lembergs had authorized to manage his properties, according to documents available to BNN.

At the same time, one of the shareholders in Lembergs’ authorized company is once lawyer Zigmunds Spāde, who remains registered as the sole beneficial owner of Valters un Rapa.

From 24 November 1998 Lembergs was stated as the owner of the real estate property located on Raunas Street 27. On 16 and 21 December 2006 Lembergs and Ligita Upīte signed two purchase agreements, as a result of which Upīte became the sole owner of the real estate in question on 24 January 2007.

Lembergs’ state official’s declaration mentions he has a sister named Ligita Upīte.

The documents available to BNN show that the two have signed an agreement that mentions a restriction that prevents Upīte from alienating, gifting, dividing, combining with other real estate, expanding, pledging or using as security or encumbering it with litigations over rights.

This section may be evidence to suggest Lembergs retains full control over the aforementioned real estate property, whereas Upīte has severely limited ownership over it.

The only thing Upīte is allowed to do without Lembergs’ written permission is rent the real estate property.

It is worth noting that the purchase price for the real estate property was LVL 25 000 at the time.

According to documents available to BNN, Upīte has paid Lembergs only 4% of the purchase price, agreeing to pay the remaining amount in the next ten years without any interest rate attached.

It should be added that normally such transactions usually require payment of 10% of the purchase price in advance and the remaining amount is paid later through account transaction or mortgage in favour of the seller. This means the signed contract looks rather odd both because of the small start payment and the lack of mortgage.

Available materials show that Lembergs’ state official’s declaration for the period between 2006 and 2018 does not mention any payments involving Upīte or real estate deals. Lembergs’ declaration for 2006 does not mention receiving LVL 10 000 amount outlined from sale of real estate, nor has he declared any income from real estate property in recent years.

Everything above suggests Lembergs has sold real estate property Upīte «on paper only», perhaps to formally protect and separate the real estate property from all of his other property, even though in reality he remains believed to be the owner of the real estate property located on Raunas Street 27 and its beneficial owner, while Upīte is «a quiet deputy» used by Lembergs to get some «pocket money».


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