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KNAB's detained Latvijas valsts ceļi board member is dismissed

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Edgars Strods

As the shareholder in road maintenance company VAS Latvijas valsts ceļi (LVC), Latvia’s Transport Ministry has decided to dismiss board member Edgars Strods from his post following his detainment by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB).

The decision was made on Tuesday, 1 October, during an extraordinary shareholder meeting.

According to the ministry, no confidence was voiced for Strods because of KNAB’s investigation. Transport Ministry believes that KNAB’s voiced suspicions are too serious to ignore and Strods cannot remain in his post, as this would put at risk the company’s reputation and impact public interests.

At the same time, shareholders made the decision to attract an independent auditor to perform an in-depth inspection of LVC’s procurement procedures and other associated processes.

LVC chairman Jānis Lange and board member Mārtiņš Lazdovskis will continue working in the company.

Transport Ministry will soon organize selection process to fill the vacant spot.

As previously reported, KNAB detained Strods on 1 October. KNAB has also performed searches.

LVC board chairman Jānis Lange has confirmed that KNAB representatives had performed a search in Strods’ office on Tuesday. He added, however, he was not informed of Strods’ detainment, only that he was not present at work.

Lange also said KNAB did not search his office.

KNAB told LETA that officers did perform activities on Tuesday, including no less than 15 searches. Activities were performed based on suspicions regarding possible violations committed by a state official in organization of public procurements in road construction industry and non-compliance with restrictions for state officials.

Read also: KNAB detains road maintenance company Latvijas valsts ceļi board member

The criminal process was launched on 27 June for abuse of official posting, money laundering, avoidance of submission of declaration and violation of restrictions imposed for state officials.

According to facts from KNAB, an official of LVC had, possibly, used their status in 2017 and 2018 for personal gain. Additionally, violating restrictions for state officials, the official may have provided potential procurement contenders information about planned procurements for road maintenance and restoration.

Two persons have been detained so far.

According to information from LTV, the other detainee is ex-mayor of Riga Gundars Bojārs’ advisor and businessman Armands Zeihmanis.

LVC manages Latvia’s network of state roads, administers the funding allocated for their maintenance, plan development of roads, organizes tenders for maintenance of roads, supervises designs and construction processes, ensures organization of road traffic on state and municipal roads, as well as maintenance of roads and inspections.

Strods has been a member of the company’s board member since August 2013. Previously he was a board member of Rīgas ūdens and the director of Riga City Council’s Transport Department.


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