bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 21.11.2018 | Name days: Andis, Zeltīte
LatviaLatvia

Meroni: big lies conceal big evil of big men

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Rudolf Meroni

The so-called Ventspils transit war is now on a new level. Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs and his former business partners with Olegs Stepanovs and Olegs Berkis in the lead seem to have reached a short-term settlement. There is more – it seems that the two parties have joined forces to fight against the Swiss lawyer Rudolf Meroni. Under the decision of the Prosecutor Generals’ Office, he is currently managing property seized from Lembergs. AS Ventbunkers management changes hands all the time, while Meroni is accused of alleged attempts to get hold of 29 million USD. BNN introduces to Meroni’s standpoint.

Where big lies stem from

Over the last few days, in the Latvian media a number of articles have appeared which contain allegations that you, Dr. Meroni, tried to steal an amount of 29 million USD from the company Latvijas Naftas Tranzīts ( LNT)? Is this true or not? What is behind these allegations?

This is absolutely not true. This is a false defamation campaign, which has been initiated by the group around Martins Kveps. At the end of December 2011, they falsified a Shareholders’ Meeting of Ventbunkers. They invented these false allegations against me, trying to divert the attention of the public away from their criminal activities into a different direction, which has nothing to do with the reality. Obviously, this cannot work.

I am the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of LNT. LNT appointed my law firm to represent its interests against a Liechtenstein Trust Company with the name Miselva Establishment (“Miselva”). For several years, this company Miselva is holding an amount of approximately 29 million USD and refuses to transfer this amount to LNT. Many letters were exchanged. Many meetings have taken place and still, Miselva refuses to transfer the amount to LNT, to which this money clearly belongs. The amount is held in a Liechtenstein Bank with the name Valartis Bank. In order to facilitate the transfer, our law firm opened a special account in the bank. This is not a private account of me for my personal funds. It has been specifically declared to the bank that this as an attorney’s account for clients money (in German: Rechsanwalts-Anderkonto). The bank was made aware of the dispute between LNT and Miselva and that the transfer from Miselva to this attorney’s account has been requested. Illegally, Miselva continues to refuse to transfer this amount in accordance with the written instructions of myself as a legal representative of LNT and of the Management Board of LNT. Obviously, this may have criminal consequences.

Where did this money originally come from? What is behind this strange behavior of Miselva Establishment?

Behind this obvious problem, there is a rather long story. I have to go back to the year 2006.

At that time, LNT was still the controlling shareholder of the Latvian company Ventspils Nafta. LNT held at the time approximately 49% of the shares of Ventspils Nafta. This percentage was enough to control the Shareholders’ Meeting. However, beside this, there was another company managed by a certain Mr. Andrew Baker of Miselva Establishment with the name Avenue Emerging Markets Fund Ltd., which also held an additional seven percent of Ventspils Nafta shares for the benefit of a group of individuals, beneficially interested in Ventbunkers and LNT.

In 2006, the management of the company LNT was illegitimately under the influence of the big man of Ventpils. As Ventbunkers is the majority shareholder of LNT, the management of LNT had to fear that the Lembergs’ Group would lose control over LNT.

How tens of millions of dollars are sold

If Lembergs was the “head”, in whose “hands” was the company?

At that point in time, the management under the lead of Mamerts Vaivads advised by the Latvian Lawyer Janis Zelmenis started some doubtful activities trying to illegally divert from LNT the majority control of Ventspils Nafta. They did in the following way: A package of 7% of Ventspils Nafta Shares were defrauded from the company LNT. Without paying a reasonable and fair price, they transferred the 7% Shares with the help of Miselva Establishment and through a Swiss securities trader firm Plenum Securities to some other hidden party. In this context, a so-called “Brokerage Agreement” was signed by the disloyal management of LNT with Miselva. Most interestingly the defrauded shares reappeared in the hands of the Vitol Group. These shares are the basis of the majority control of the Vitol Group over Ventspils Nafta.

An amount of some 25 million USD were paid for the control package of Ventspils Nafta. In reality, this control package would have had a value of hundreds of millions of USD. The money, which was used for this transaction, came from some offshore operations, which were managed by Miselva and Andrew Baker. From these amounts, the Ventspils Nafta Control Package, which had been taken away, was paid, but not to LNT, but to a hidden account under the control of Miselva/Andrew Baker. Since 2006/07, there is this money outside of LNT under the control of the Miselva manager Andrew Baker.

Who is Miselva Establishment and what is the role of Andrew Baker?

Miselva Establishment is a Liechtenstein Trust Company. Its main representative and manager is Mr. Andrew Baker. Mr. Baker has been involved for a long time in some doubtful offshore activities related to certain shareholders of LNT.

Mr. Andrew Baker is also the sole Member of the Board of Directors of the LNT shareholder Global Oil Services, which is registered in New Zealand. The ultimate beneficial owner of this company are Mr. Mamerts Vaivads and Mr. Uldis Pumpurs. At earlier times it was said, that the Lembergs family was also interested in this company. But it may have changed.

Additionally, Andrew Baker is also a director of the company Avenue Emerging Markets Fund which still holds shares of Ventspils Nafta. Four of its beneficial owners (Olaf Berkis, Oleg Stepanov, Igors Skoks and Gennady Shevcovs) are represented by Martin Kveps.

It is obvious that Mr. Baker is in a conflict of interest, as he represents the interests of different minority shareholders of LNT and Ventbunkers and abuses this situation to the detriment of the legitimate interests of LNT. He violates his fiduciary duties towards LNT and follows instructions of clients of other companies (BNN fiduciary – relating to a holding of something in trust for another).

How other company’s money is divided

Lembergs’ group has a reason to worry – Ventbunkers took over control over the management of LNT in 2007. What next?

Then LNT requested Miselva to transfer this money to the accounts of LNT. But in November/December 2011 Andrew Baker clearly announced that he was not going to return the money to LNT. In spring 2010, LNT started to intensify its legal efforts to recover this amount still under the control of Miselva. All the time, Miselva refused to confirm their readiness to transfer this amount in accordance with the instructions of LNT. So I opened an Attorneys account of at Valartis Bank, where the money was placed.

Is this amount of 29 million intact or has any part of it been used?

For the first time in December 2011, LNT received from Miselva some information regarding the account held in the name of Miselva with Valartis Bank. To the big surprise, LNT had to see that amounts of approximately 200’000 US Dollars have been embezzled form the account and transferred to the Latvian law firm Zelmenis & Liberte. By coincidence, the daughter of Mamerts Vaivads, Hardija Vaivade, was working for this law firm. LNT has never authorized such a transfer, and LNT has never (after 2007) used the services of the law firm of Janis Zelmenis. However, Global Oil Services (with the sole director Andrew Baker) had initiated in 2010 and 2011 various frivolous court cases against LNT, trying to attach LNT’s assets in various banks in Latvia. All these court cases failed, because there was no legal basis for them. So, there is a well founded suspicion that the LNT’s money was misused for some frivolous court cases against LNT. All this was done by Mr. Andrew Baker in collusion with Janis Zelmenis and probably Hardija Vaivade.

Furthermore, in the beginning of 2011, one million USD was transferred out of the Valartis Bank account for alleged “legal fees”. For which legal fees this 1 Million US Dollars was transferred is unclear at this stage. A criminal investigation will show, whether this amount has been embezzled or not. Apart form that, also some smaller amounts have been unlawfully taken away in favor of Miselva and other service providers without that LNT had ever authorized such transfers.

To make a long story short

I want to stress once more:

1. Never ever the undersigned requested the transfer of 29 Million USD to his “private account”. The payment request was made as part of my professional activities as an Attorneys of LNT to my law firm’s account for Clients’ monies with Valartis Bank. There is a legal dispute with the company Miselva who played a doubtful role over years, and which refuses to transfer to LNT 29 million USD, which belong to LNT. I did not open a private account of me for my personal funds. The bank was made aware of the dispute between LNT and Miselva and that the transfer from Miselva to this attorney’s account has been requested. LNT wanted to transfer this money to selected European banks with a good reputation in order to keep it in a safe place.

2. The defamation campaign initiated against me for alleged LNT money transfer to my “private accounts” is criminal lie. Law office’s account to keep cleints money is not private property of the lawyer. It clearly indicated in the bank’s documents, which say clearly in German «Dr. Rudolf Meroni Rechtsanwalts – Anderkonto» (BNN: attorney trust account). It is exactly the same as in Latvia – the bailiff’s account is not his private account.

3. The corrupt group around Kveps misused this story to initiate a defamation campaign against the undersigned at a moment, when they brutally falsified the Shareholders’ Meeting of Ventbunkers. They wanted to divert the public interest away from their criminal activities in another direction by making some false allegations against me.

Ref: 000.000.105.761


Leave a reply

Old Latvian government leaves new one budget plan accepted by EC

European Commission has coordinated Latvia’s 2019 budget plan, adding that it generally fits requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact. However, the old government in Latvia is not able to push it forward. This is why it has been decided to wait for the formation of a new government in Latvia to resolve problems.

War in Yemen has lead to 85 000 children deaths from hunger, charity says

An estimated 85,000 children under the age of five have starved to death as a result of Yemen’s civil war, a report from Save the Children has found, as the charity urged an immediate ceasefire to prevent more loss of life.

Police raise charges against Jurmala mayor for possible illegal financing of UGF

In the criminal case regarding possible illegal financing of the Union of Greens and Farmers, Latvia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has officially presented charges to Jurmala Mayor Gatis Truksnis and businessman Jūlijs Krūmiņš.

Latvian ministry to search for a way to reduce antibiotics consumption

«According to antibacterial medicines consumption data, consumption of antibiotics for treatment of humans in Latvia is one of the lowest in the European Union. It is important to maintain this level or ensure its reduction. At the same time, it is also important to ensure accessibility of quality healthcare services for Latvian residents,» Healthcare Ministry reports.

Saeima continues electing heads of committees; Jurašs to be responsible for security

Election of chairpersons, deputy chairpersons and secretaries of Saeima committees continue. On 21 November Saeima deputies divided posts in ten committees. There are six more left.

Estonia ranks second in lethal drug overdoses among wealthy nations

Out of 13 well-off nations, Estonia ranks second after the U.S. in the proportion of male deaths from drug overdose, the U.S. National Cancer Institute has found, Estonian World blog wrote.

SFRS: five years after Zolitude tragedy people seems to have relaxed about security precautions

Although Zolitude Tragedy came as a lesson for many people to be more responsible with security requirements, in the last five years people have become relaxed again when it comes to safety matters, said deputy chief of State Fire and Rescue Service Kristaps Eklons in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Five years pass since the Zolitude Tragedy in Latvia

The court investigation of Zolitude tragedy’s criminal case is progressing, according to the state prosecution. Wednesday, 21 November, marked five years since the tragedy, when the roof of a Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 people and injuring several dozen.

Estonian Interior Minister Anvelt steps down

Estonian Interior Minister Andres Anvelt has announced his resignation from office as the social democrat plans to leave politics altogether.

Study: Europe and China invest the most in innovations

Compared to other territories in the world, Europe’s and China’s expenses on research and development have increased the most, with investments reaching USD 782 billion. The largest amount of money is spent on consumer industry, according to Innovation 1000 study performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Strategy&.

Afghanistan suicide terrorist causes tragic explosion

In Afghanistan, a large gathering of Islamic scholars has been hit by a tragic terror attack as not less than 50 people have been killed.

EU-UK future ties declaration held back by issues of fisheries, Gibraltar, trade

As the European Union and the UK are now negotiating principles of their future relationship, British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking part in talks in Brussels on Wednesday to try solve disagreements regarding Gibraltar, fisheries and trade.

Bribery accused ex-Riga City Council official detained in Egypt

Law enforcement authorities in Egypt have detained bribery accused former Riga City Council official Ārija Stabiņa, as confirmed by Panorāma programe of LTV.

Police admit November 11 Embankment is not the best place for mass events

Security-wise, 11 November Embankment is not the best place for mass events. Nevertheless, responsible authorities plan to analyse in the near future ways to improve security measures in this portion of Riga, as reported by Criminal Police Chief Artis Velšs.

LMIB: CCLI price should not increase in Latvia in the near future

The price of Compulsory Civil Liability Insurance is not expected to increase in the near future, said board member of Latvian Motor Insurers' Bureau Juris Stengrevics in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Competition Council permits Energia Verde to change owners

Latvian Competition Council has permitted the agreement in which Estonia-based private capital investment fund Usaldusfond BaltCap Infrastructure Fund gains decisive influence over SIA Energia Verde by acquiring 70% of its shares from AS Energoeco, BNN was informed by the council.

Latvian corruption watchdog commenced five cases on crimes in healthcare in past five years

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has sent five criminal cases associated with corruption violations in healthcare to the prosecutor’s office in the fast five years.

Saeima approves deputies for work in parliamentary committees

Latvia’s Saeima has approved deputies who will work in the parliament’s standing committees in the next four years. 92 deputies participated in the vote; no one voted against or abstained in the vote.

NATO appreciates Lithuania's defence spending as showing example

Lithuania's significant increase in defence spending has been praised by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as an example this week.

Ieva Jaunzeme becomes candidate to lead Latvia’s State Revenue Service

The personnel selection process organized to pick the new head of Latvia’s State Revenue Service has concluded. Ieva Jaunzeme has been named the winner, as confirmed by State Chancellery.

Ilves urges to celebrate things uniting Latvia and Estonia on centenary

The ex-President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, has congratulated Latvia on the 100th anniversary of its statehood and urged to look back at the historical ups and downs experienced by Estonians and Latvians since the Middle Ages that have united the two peoples.

Opinion: government formation can be described with two words – haste and ambitions

The current government formation process in Latvia can be described with two words – haste and ambitions, says ex-prime minister Valdis Birkavs.

Russia to perform OSCE Armament Control Inspection in Latvia

Over the course from 20th to 23rd November, officers of Russian armed forces will be performing Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe armament control inspection in Latvia, as confirmed by Defence Ministry.

Bishops in Poland issue apology for sex abuse against children by clergy

Catholic bishops in Poland have asked for forgiveness to child victims of sexual abuse committed by priests and other Church workers in the mainly Catholic nation.

Week’s beginning to be chilly in Latvia – air temperature at night to drop below 0° C

Weather in Latvia will remain cold at the beginning of the week. Some areas may also experience precipitation in the form of wet snow and snow. It will become warmer closer to the middle of the week. However, colder masses of air will enter the country again at the end of the week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Most read

Most commented

What would you wish Latvia for its centenary?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: