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Sunday 25.08.2019 | Name days: Patrīcija, Ludis, Ludvigs, Ivonna
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Corruption watchdog detains another Rīgas satiksme official for bribery

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has detained Honour to Serve Riga member, Rīgas karte boardmember and Rīgas satiksme official Aleksandrs Brandavs over suspicions of bribery.

On Tuesday, 6 March, the bureau commenced a criminal process against SIA Rīgas karte official for possible criminal acts – bribery and mediation in bribery.

Materials of the criminal case contain information regarding the handing of a bribe to a mediator to be passed to another official in order to secure decisions favourable to the person who gave the bribe.

One person has been detained in the criminal process. According to information from LETA, this person is Brandavs. He was detained on Wednesday, 6 March.

The investigation is currently in early stages. More detailed information will be provided by KNAB once it is clear it won’t impede the investigation.

The law permits detaining a person for up to 48 hours. Once this term is over, authorities can decide on extending it or applying a security measure. The most severe security measure is an arrest, which is decided on by the court.

Brandavs is a board member in SIA Rīgas karte, manager of Rīgas satiksme’s Electronic Transactions and Projects Office, as well as the true beneficiary in Rīgas mikroautobusu satiksme.

Rīgas karte is responsible for maintaining e-talon system, parking lot devices and terminals in school cafeterias children use their Riga resident cards to receive free lunches.

Last year, Rīgas satiksme paid EUR 27.7 million to this partner. On top of that, the amount increases every year. For example, RS paid EUR 15 million for the maintenance of e-talon system, while income from ticket sales was around EUR 40 million. As for terminals in school cafeterias, RS pays EUR 60 in rent every month to Rīgas Karte or EUR 720 a year even though the a single terminal costs EUR 485. The contract with Rīgas Karte was signed until the end of 2020.

Brandavs’ declaration for 2017 states that he owns a house and land in Riga, as well as three plots of land in Roja County. He has EUR 830,000 in savings in different banks. He has also given out EUR 1.3 million in loans. His biggest salary was paid in Rīgas karte last year – EUR 147,000 a year, whereas his salary in Rīgas satiksme was EUR 31,000. Brandavs also owns shares in six companies in Russia, Malta and Latvia, as reported by Nekā personīga with reference to his declaration.

Because Brandavs is associated with Rīgas satiksme and Rīgas karte, the now former head of Rīgas satiksme’s temporary management Anrijs Matīss ahd revoked Brandavs’ permit to combine posts in the both companies two weeks ago. Since then, Brandavs has been on sick leave. It is unclear whether he intends to return to work.

Even the new head of RS temporary board Ernests Saulītis hopes Brandavs will not continue working in Rīgas satiksme.

As it is known, the criminal process launched by KNAB is associated with three procurements of Rīgas satiksme. Authorities are investigating bribery of officials and money laundering.


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