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Monday 20.05.2019 | Name days: Venta, Salvis, Selva
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Court rules EUR 200 thousand bail for criminal suspect of Riga transport firm

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Suspect Leons Bemhens, the former long-time chairman of the board of Rīgas satiksme

A court in the Latvian capital has set at 200 000 euros the bail money for ex-board chairman of the Riga public transport company Rīgas satiksme, who is a suspect in the criminal case over possible corrupt procurement dealings at the municipal firm.

The decision concerning Leons Bemhens, the former long-time chairman of the board of Rīgas satiksme, was made on Thursday, February 14, by the City of Riga Vidzeme Urban District Court.

The suspect, currently at a prison hospital in Olaine, would be released in case the bail is paid into the Latvian Treasury.

Following the court hearing, the lawyer of Bemhens, Varis Klotiņš, declined to comment the ruling.

Reportedly, the Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has launched a criminal process in relation to three procurements organized by Rīgas satiksme – the 2016 low-floor tram procurement (EUR 62,597,477), the 2013 trolleybus procurements (EUR 131,646,135), as well as the 2013 bus procurement (EUR 75,808,297).

The criminal process is about bribery and money laundering activities.

Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court applied an arrest to six out of seven suspects. Honour to Serve Riga long-term member Aleksandrs Krjačeks was later released from custody after eight days. Škoda Transportation official Vladislavs Kozaks, RS Infrastructure Maintenance and Development Department Director Igors Volkinšteins, former RS chairman Leons Bemhens, businessmen Māris Martinsons and Edgars Teterovskis remain under arrest.

According to KNAB, the criminal process was launched in regards to criminal activities performed by representatives of Czech and Polish companies in cooperation with Riga City Council and Rīgas satiksme officials and their associates. All the people involved in the criminal case performed money laundering and provided influx of funds through fully functional and fictive companies, thereby providing bribes for Riga City Council and Rīgas satiksme officials in the three procurements.

Nekā personīga investigative programme reported that for every supplied trolleybus, bus and tram, 5-7% of bribes were paid. The total value of three procurements exceeds EUR 270 million, which means bribes account for 13.5 – 20 million euros.


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