Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 21.08.2019 | Name days: Linda, Janīna

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

(No Ratings Yet)

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

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.»

Leave a reply

Subsidies to controversial Riga transport company could increase by EUR 20 mln

Amid the criticism of the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme for its losses and their effect on the Latvian state budget, a plan has been voiced to increase its subsidies, now 120 million euros, by another 20 million euros, Latvian Radio reports.

Latvian Minister keeping adviser detained by corruption watchdog for now

Latvian Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards will clarify the reason, why his advisor and the mayor of the city of Ogre, Egils Helmanis, has been detained by corruption investigators, to decide on keeping him in office.

Trump, Macron willing to readmit Russia to G7, despite Crimea annexation

The leaders of France and the United States have expressed their backing to readmitting Russia to the G7 conference of world powers in 2020, despite Ukraine’s Crimea still being held by Moscow, CNN reports.

Latvian excise tax income up by 8% in first half of 2018

The Latvian excise tax income in the first half of 2019 has been 521 million euros, –an increase by 39 million euros, or 8.1% – compared to the respective period last year, showed data by the Latvian State Revenue Service.

Latvian PM: Most of freely available 2020 budget funds already earmarked

Discussing the 2020 Latvian national budget, Latvian prime minister Krišjānis Kariņš pointed out that its fiscal space is limited by previous decisions and that the expected losses of the Riga transport company will not permit raising wages and pensions nationally.

Corruption watchdog detains Ogre city mayor Helmanis

The Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has on Wednesday detained the mayor of central Latvian city of Ogre, Egils Helmanis, according to LETA news agency.

New members to Freeport of Riga Authority elected, despite criticism

The Riga City Council elected to the Board of the Freeport of Riga Authority, mayor Oļegs Burovs and councilman Sandris Bergmanis, despite heavy criticism of the latter for incompetence and lack of vision.

Italy loses government, coalition of right-wing, anti-establishment parties collapses

Italy has lost its government with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announcing resignation after the right-wing League party pushed for no-confidence motion to its own government.

Kaljulaid opposed to Estonian minister after police chief scandal

Alleging that Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme has violated the law by trying to sack top police chief, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has stated that the minister has no place in the government.

Planned Latvian economic cases’ court conceptually backed by government

The plan by the Latvian Ministry of Justice to establish a court of economic cases has on Tuesday, August 20, been supported by the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers.

Riga deputy mayor posts go to Harmony and independent politician

In the Riga City Council, deputy mayors have been elected with one post going to Anna Vladova from Harmony and the other – to Vadims Baraņņiks from the group of independent councilmen.

Latvia charges energy company executives for attempted fraud

Two board members of Latvian power company SIA Rīgas enerģija have been charged in a criminal case for an attempt to acquire with deceit the rights to supply electricity as part of the mandatory procurement component programme.

Consumer protection: 34% of Latvians admit post-vacation financial difficulties

During vacation, 77% of Latvians spend more money than planned, but 34% admit having trouble making ends meet after vacation, according to a poll by the Latvian Consumer Protection Centre.

Firms like Riga transport company to be banned from working with losses, minister says

As the European Union’s statisticians have classified the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme in the debt of the national budget, it is planned in Latvia to prohibit such companies from working with losses, Latvian Finance Minister Jānis Reirs has told LNT 900 sekundes programme.

Minor dies in large fire in Latvia

An underage person has been found dead in a large fire in the Latvian region of Vidzeme, the Latvian Fire and Rescue Service has said. Person wascsaved from burning house in Liepāja.

UK aims to end free entry of EU citizens on October 31

UK to stop free migration from European Union member states to the country right after the likely no-deal Brexit on October 31, the British government has stated.

Riga city elects new mayor – Oļegs Burovs – and restores decade-old coalition

The Riga City Council has elected Oļegs Burovs as the new mayor, ending two months of political discussions and restoring the coalition that has ruled in the Latvian capital for ten years.

EU: Rīgas satiksme cuts Latvian budget fiscal room in 2020 by 72 mln EUR

The Riga city company Rīgas satiksme should, according to European Union criteria, be in included in the general government sector, thus it would cut the fiscal space of the 2020 Latvian state budget by 72 million euros, Finance Ministry stated.

Latvijas Krājbanka’s administrator recovered 542 thousand euros in July

The administrator of the insolvent Latvian bank Latvijas Krājbanka recovered 524 444 euros in July, which is by 75% more than a month earlier, according to the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis.

Latvian post-reform administrative centres to have 2 000 - 630 000 populations

After the planned administrative reform of Latvia, the population size of the administrative centres of the new municipalities is expected to vary from 2 000 to 632 000 people, according to a conceptual report by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.

A week of warm, but changing weather forecast for Latvia

Weather in Latvia this week is expected to be summer-like and warm, with rain expected on Thursday and Friday, according to the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Kabul wedding terror attack committed by Islamic State, the group says

Responsibility for the terror attack in Afghanistan, where explosives killed 63 people. has been claimed by the Afghan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group.

British Gibraltar releases seized Iran oil tanker

An Iranian oil tanker detained by Gibraltar, part of the United Kingdom, has sailed away from port after being allowed to do so despite Washington’s call to detain it again.

BNN summary of the week: Latvia’s biggest budget; PNB Bank halts operations; Latvia sad with Latvia

Some positive news surfaced in Latvia this week – Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš announced that the country’s next budget will be the largest one yet and will exceed EUR 10 billion. In spite of this, however, financial difficulties have been observed – PNB Bank has ended up in a tight spot. The bank’s shortage of funds has forced Finance and Capital Market Commission to halt all of the bank’s financial operations.

Week in Lithuania: PM Skvernelis undergoes surgery, Nausėda meets Merkel, rebukes Latvia

Last week, President Gitanas Nausėda rejected the government’s candidate for EU judge, hints of big changes at Šiaulių Bankas ahead

Newest comments