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Wednesday 16.10.2019 | Name days: Daiga, Dinija

No shame. SRS Tax and Customs Police used for political hits – employees say

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SRS Tax and Customs Police director Kaspars Podiņš

Performing different orders, score-settling, double standards, distortion of facts – such criticisms have been directed to State Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Police Department director Kaspars Podiņš by the institution’s employees in their letter to SRS director general Ieva Jaunzeme.

«We turn to you with an application because at the beginning of the year the entire team had witnessed director Kaspars Podiņš performing different political orders, preventing investigations of commenced criminal processes and punishing workers who refused to comply,» the letter mentions.

«Every day we have to face his double standards and fact distortion. On top of that, without any shame whatsoever, SRS Tax and Customs Police are used to perform political orders.»

The letter also mentions that more and more often the press voices concerns about political involvement of state law enforcement institutions and their use in political score-settling. Jaunzeme also received some blame – instead of acting, she is accused of saving her own skin, so to speak.

«While you are too busy fending for yourself, seen and unseen people in Tax and Customs Police Department’s corridors are organizing criminal processes left and right.»

SRS employees described an entire scheme in the letter: «A brief explanation about this system for those uninformed: person-X issues a request for a criminal process; to commence it there have to be an unlikely report detailing suspicious dealings, partners or at least a story, no matter how stretched and baseless, that there could be signs of illegal activity.

Such applications usually go a long way to the institution in which they could be theoretically processed. After that, there are to paths. The first and shortest is when a chief of a relevant department feels confident about his influence and is in a good relationship with his subordinates – the order to investigate is given immediately and the criminal process is launched.

The second, slightly longer than the first, is when the document does not offer sufficient confidence regarding justifications behind it. In this case the application is forwarded to analysts until it is clear which ‘correct’ investigator should have it to complete the order.»

It is noted that criminal processes with «shadowy supervisors committed to seeing it through» is immediately provided with a number of measures to process the target ordered by the client.

«The first and simplest way is performing personal data analysis about dealings and properties, flow of finances, etc. The next level is providing sanctions for procedural and special investigative actions. This includes wire-tapping conversations, performing searches, etc. Nothing complicated and unusual, but the people behind the criminal process sticks to the client and transfer money for the future favourable decision,» SRS employees reveal.

What do searches give?

«Usually searches provide access to more information, and, believe it or not, even a child’s computer sometimes contains interesting information. Even if nothing is found, it is still possible to collect a fee for returning computer and phone,» the application from SRS Tax and Customs Police details the cynicism of the scheme.

As an example for the aforementioned, SRS employees mention Viesturs Tamužs’ 6 June 2019 application regarding possible especially serious crimes committed by an organized group.

«Generally nothing suspicious, even the text is stretch as the crime is richly described; a more in-depth read into described dealings and partners reveals that all involved parties are honest taxpayers, partners are clearly defined and no real reasons to waste state resources and work time become harder to justify. Nevertheless, it is clear the ‘hit’ needs to be performed and the criminal process needs to be initiated,» SRS employees explain.

«In-depth analysis of received information was commenced and a criminal process soon followed. The criminal process itself was handed to none other than K.Podiņš’s trustee I.Kuzmina to perform the order. We allow that these people may not know anything about K.Podiņš’s promise to Atis Zakatistovs, but we nonetheless believe this fact should become known. These people are:

Jānis Aizbalts, Māris Simanovičs, Jolanta Jēkabsone, Anita Saulīte, Andris Trumars, Kaspars Fogelmanis, Aigars Apsītis and Ingus Skadmanis, as well as legal persons: SIA Jano-AI, SIA Eco Baltia Vide, SIA Eko Reverss, SIA Eko Kurzeme, SIA Jumis.

The process was ordered to commence, but what is more interesting is the applicant Viesturs Tamužs, who, as it is well known, together with parliamentary secretary of our supervisory ministry Atis Zakatistovs are accused of defrauding funds from the same group of companies against which Tamužs has turned to Tax and Customs Police,» the letter further details.

SRS employees’ letter also mentions that «a look at the internet makes it clear that at least one person involved in the ordered criminal process is also a witness in the criminal process involving Tamužs and Zakatistovs. Official databases also reveal that others were board members in companies cheated by Tamuž.»

In conclusion, SRS employees ask the management of SRS what they should do in this situation, seeing how politicians use SRS Tax and Customs Police to settle their own scores. «[…] split heads and take on Tamužs’ – Zakatistovs’ political orders or refuse to be led on a leash and instead investigate how exactly did Tamužs’ company SIA Artha, which has successfully ended up in the hands of his children, has managed to turn over a couple of hundred thousand euros and earn several million euros on top, considering that no information about its tax payments can be found in any databases.»

«We request asking the prosecutor’s office to perform an investigation if there was any justifiable reason to commence a criminal process.»

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