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Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars

BNN investigation | those interested in sinking Dinaz criminal case – ex-VID investigator and Saeima employee

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Aivars Lembergs, Dinaz, fraud, tax avoidance, VID, investigation, OlainfarmOne of the biggest tax fraud criminal cases in Latvia’s history – Dinaz – still has not been tried in court. Actual penalties have been applied only for part of the case. It is possible there are people who are interested in making sure Dinaz case is «resolved» without anyone found guilty.

Dinaz microchip criminal case, at least in 2005, was considered one of the biggest fraud cases in Latvia’s history – charges were raised over tax avoidance worth LVL 13.8 million, as well as the attempt to defraud from the state and launder LVL 4 million.

There are suspicions that the parliamentary investigation committee over MPC support adoption goals consultant Ineta Muižniece and once the investigator of the State Revenue Service’s (VID) Finance Police Office Māris Kaminskis are interested in having Dinaz criminal case, which is currently handled by VID Tax and Customs Police, is ‘resolved’ similarly to the microchip case – without actual prison sentences.

Kaminskis’ and Muižniece’s possible «plan» was delayed by the outcome of the trial – the investigator of the case secured victory in court about acquisition of illegal property, and EUR 2 million, previously confiscated during searches in Dinaz case, were paid to the state budget, according to BNN sources. The victory was achieved in a time when Edijs Ceipe was in charge of the office and provided the investigation with the necessary support.

But when Podiņš became head of VID Tax and Customs Police, the long-standing dream of «Dinaz-iers» came true – the investigator was taken off the case and the criminal case was instead handed to the head of Kurzeme office, who was, possibly, Podiņš’s contact with Aivars Lembergs, BNN sources say.

It should be said that the former formal officials of Dinaz Group companies Vladimirs Špakovs, Artūrs Korotkovs, Vladislavs Lavrinovičs and Igors Dživags were sentenced to conditional deprivation of freedom for five years with probation period of nine years. All of them except Dživags also had their property confiscated.

Dinaz beneficial owners – Nikolajs Jermolajevs, Genādijs Stankēvičs and Viktors Busels – were never mentioned or put on trial.

It should be reminded here that the illegal scheme involved multiple companies associated with Dinaz Group: LLC Multikoms (later renamed as Matriks DI, now bankrupt, also one of the biggest tax debtors in the country), LLC Jelgavas nafta, LLC KU Dinaz (later renamed MikroLiks) and LLC Dinaz nafta (later renamed Agalas) and their officials.

Charges were raised over 2000-2001 large-scale fraud and tax avoidance, microchip export operations, and illegal acquisition of the right to request and receive VAT returns from the state budget.

This case was investigated the now ex-investigator of VID Finance Police Kaminskis. Documents signed by Dinaz Holding manager Nikolajs Jermolajevs confirm doubts that surfaced a couple of years ago regarding the objectivity of the investigation.

During the investigation many had suspicions about possible corruption of the investigator and their unwillingness to investigate the case objectively, which is further reinforced by the mild penalties.

At the time, the mediator between Kaminskis and Jermolajevs was VID Finance Police Office’s ex-employee Ineta Muižniece, which is something that was mentioned by one of Dinaz officials Jevgeņijs Hlopoks in his statements. There is also documented proof of this, BNN sources say.

Since 1997 Muižniece has been VID Finance Police investigator. However, she maintains close contacts with Dinaz Group’s beneficial owners.

Ineta Muižniece having lunch with Mārcis Miķelsons

Muižniece also maintains close contacts with former VID Finance Police officer and investigator Māris Kaminskis, who was in charge of the criminal case against Dinaz, BNN sources affirm.

It is possible that Muižniece’s and Kaminskis’ close friendship was the reason why Dinaz case had the outcome as described by Dinaz lawyer Guntars Līcis: «Everything ended so well for us in the old Dinaz case, perhaps the same could happen here, too.»

Currently Muižniece is a consultant for Saeima’s investigative committee for MPC support adoption and an employee of Olainfarm. According to BNN sources, she entered the Saeima in a doubtful way – using ties with the infamous lawyer Mārcis Miķelsons.

Miķelsons has close ties with lawyer and Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro’s advisor Pāvels Rebenoks. It is with help from Miķelsons and Rebenoks that Muižniece entered Olainfarm. A new position was created for her – vice-manager of the Legal Affairs Office, BNN sources say.

Reliable sources found out that Muižniece has not contributed anything new to Olainfarm’s economic operations. She is on sick leave for six months and does not perform direct duties. At the same time, however, she participates in the work of Saeima’s committee and is paid a wage from Saeima’s budget.

According to information available to BNN, Miķelsons has pulled/misappropriated finances from Olainfarm under the guise of a service contract signed by then Olainfarm Council member Rebenoks worth EUR 200 000. Muižniece also played a role in this contract, as she had organized preparation of necessary documents.

In May 2016 Kaminskis was rotated out of VID following the order from then the Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis. However, he left his new position and then became the head of Latvian Post security service.

Kaminskis is often called «Podiņš’s man» and remains Podiņš’s contact with businesses that have ended up in the sights of VID, BNN sources say.

After the Octopus publication Kaminskis was subjected to then the head of VID Ināra Pētersone’s initiated rotations and lost his position. The job in Latvian Post, according to information available to BNN, was negotiated by then the Transport Minister Uldis Augulis and Podiņš (old friends – wedding handlers).

According to BNN sources, for years Kaminskis and his team were performing orders from Podiņš and others through their subordinates, who were put in high positions by Podiņš – Inna Kuzmina, Ieva Ostrovska, Inita Lūre, Kristīne Rinkeviča, Jānis Akmentiņš.

Read also: Kaspars Podiņš suspected of taking no measures in Olainfarm case and stalling other national level cases in VID

Nikolajs Jermolajevs is Dinaz beneficial owner. He communicates and meets with Muižniece and Kaminskis. It is possible Jermolajevs has some mental disorder. Having realized he cannot influence the investigator, he came up with a conspiracy with her and different people in order to have the office of the prosecutor take her off the case, according to information available to BNN.

All of the accused involved in the so-called Dinaz microchip criminal case were sentenced to conditional penalties.

It is Muižniece, Rebenoks and Krieķis who are interested in making sure the misappropriation of funds and laundering in Olainfarm, including through Miķelsons’ activities, is not investigated. Information available to BNN shows that the non-investigation of the case was successfully organized by Podiņš.

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