bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
LatviaLatvia

NP: Rīgas satiksme’s fuel supplier’s beneficiary may have ties to criminal world

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn the past several years, Rīgas satiksme has been receiving fuel supplies from a company whose true beneficiaries, two Italians living in Monaco, were mentioned in a study carried out by international investigative journalists about the criminal world, as reported by TV3 programme Nekā Personīga.

In the past, there had been information reported by the media that Rīgas satiksme overpays for fuel. On top of that, results of a recent audit prove that fuel procurement at the company is not economically efficient. Nevertheless, RS continues procuring fuel from the same supplier.

Additionally, the research performed by international investigative journalists reveals that businessmen hiding behind offshore companies could have ties to the criminal world in Italy and Russia. Representatives of the company in Latvia deny this, Nekā Personīga reports.

Some years ago there was a petrol station located on the side of a highway in Ieriķi. Ten years ago it was bought out by businessman Māris Āriņš. His business then boomed rapidly. The company then got its hand on an opportunity to supply fuel to RS and sometime after that – to Latvian Railway, journalists explains.

This businessman also got his hands on an oil base. The territory in Sloka was previously owned by RS subsidiary Degvielas apgāds. When Nils Ušakovs was first appointed Mayor of Riga for the first two years, RS decided that oil base that was previously modernized using municipality’s money is no longer needed and sold it to Āriņš. The oil base is managed by RDZ Energy. RS continues procuring fuel from this company.

Five years ago, Nekā personīga got its hands on papers detailing fuel procurements performed by RS. Documents show that the municipal company procures fuel for a higher price than what is offered by competitors. Ušakovs promised to search for the ones responsible.

However, after Ušakovs questioned Bemhens, RDZ Energy signed a EUR 60 million fuel supply contract with RS for another five years, the programme reports.

On top of that, the company also won Economy Ministry’s organized procurement for storage of oil reserves. When the ministry had first announced the first tender, it was known that owners of the company in question include offshore companies in Malta and British Virgin Isles, as reported by Nekā personīga team.

Economy Ministry explained that there was no time to evaluate them, because the European Commission was rushing the tender. The ministry promised to evaluate next offshores.

However, in the most recent tender Economy Ministry picked strategic reserve storage company without researching offshores behind them, journalists say.

In December 2018, RDZ Energy received the opportunity to supply fuel to Riga Freeport’s Riga Freeport Fleet, which provides tugboat services at the port. The worth of the contract is EUR 2 million. The chairman of the freeport’s authority claims not knowing anything about the offshore, Nekā personīga reports.

December 2017 marked the coming into force a law that makes it mandatory for all companies that have companies registered in foreign countries as owners, including offshores, to submit information about their true beneficiaries to the Enterprise Register. Companies were supposed to do that by March 2018. However, around 2,000 companies have yet to comply with requirements of the law. This includes the company that supplies fuel to RS.

On 5 March the Enterprise Registry noticed that the true beneficiaries of two owners of RDZ Energy – Malta and British Virgin Isles-based BHC Investment Limited and Galaxy Energy Group Ltd – are Monaco-based Italian citizens Massimo Filosa and Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio. Their names are mentioned in some document of Italian police published by OCCRP.

The document in question is mostly dedicated to Ukrainian mafia member Leonid Minin. He is suspected of smuggling, drug and arms trade, as well as money laundering. He has been blacklisted by multiple countries and is denied entry. Minin is considered one of the heads of Odessa mafia, which controls this city’s oil industry. The document also mentions that this person owns many companies working in the oil business. International investigative journalists mention a number of companies in Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland and elsewhere in the world associated with Minin. Among those companies is also Galaxy Energy, Nekā personīga explains.

In an e-mail sent to Nekā personīga, Āriņš recommended journalists to refrain from associating his company’s true beneficiaries from Monaco with Italian mafia, because it could be considered defamation. Both men living in Monaco are not acquainted with Minin. They have never shared a business, and they were never suspects in any criminal process together.

Riga Transports’ former manager Vadims Baraņņiks and the new one – Vadims Faļkovs – claim they know nothing of RS’s dealings with offshores.

Riga’s Vice-Mayor from Honour to Serve Riga political party believes Mayor Ušakovs’, as the supervisor of RS, practice of dealing with offshores is not good. The now former temporary chief of RS Anrijs Matīss is of a similar mind.

«This is not normal from any perspective. When I worked at RS, the true beneficiaries were not disclosed. I believe it is against the law – there is no way to sign a contract without knowing the identity of the true beneficiary. They may as well be associated with North Korea or some other country under sanctions. On top of that, the company pays money and thereby breaches restrictions imposed by the European Union. There definitely should not be contracts in which owners and actual shareholders are unclear,» Matīss told Nekā Personīga.


Leave a reply

Minister: repatriation efforts may be restarted mid-April

Repatriation efforts may be restarted in the middle of April, said Latvia’s Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits on 1 April at a conference of Latvian municipalities on public transport and traffic during a state of emergency.

Saeima committee supports writing off debts left from 2008 crisis

On Wednesday, 1 April, Latvian Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee conceptually supported during a remote meeting the proposal to allow credit institutions to one-sidedly write off debts for mortgage loans taken prior to the 2008 economic crisis, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Belarus introduces ban on buckwheat exports

Belarusian government has prohibited temporarily the export of buckwheat and other staple foods, state news agency BelTA reported.

Moscow tests app for tracking infected people required to self-isolate

In Moscow, where a lockdown has been in place since the beginning of the week, a new smartphone app is being developed and tested aimed at ensuring that patients with mild symptoms adhere to their contract of self-isolation, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Multiple of Nature Protection Office’s duties delegated to the State Environment Service

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry issued an order on 30 March to delegate multiple duties of the Nature Protection Office to the State Environment Service, according to information from LETA.

Latvian State Employment Agency received notifications for numerous planned lay-offs

Latvia’s State Employment Agency has received notification about planned lay-offs of 3 258 employees of 19 companies.

1 April onward entry to Jurmala by car will not be allowed without paying 2 euro fee

Wednesday, 1 April, marks the beginning of the the season when entry to Jurmala by car will require a 2 euro fee, as reported by Jurmala City Council.

Estonia looking at mass tests’ option to determine latency of COVID-19

The Estonian government has set itself the goal of mass tests of COVID-19 in the society, its Foreign Minister has revealed as the worst-hit Baltic country is looking at ways to overcome the outbreak, Estonian public broadcaster reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltic. 446 in Latvia, 581 in Lithuania, 779 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 446. Meanwhile, Lithuanian media report 581 cases.

Countries rush to support production of lung ventilators, essential amid pandemic

Governments and medical institutions in the world seek to acquire many lung ventilators that can save lives in severe cases of the COVID-19 disease. France and Israel have made recent announcements in this respect, German public broadcaster DW reports.

Public catering companies to adopt new hygiene requirements as of 1 April

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has expanded requirements for public catering and retail trade companies, BNN was told by the ministry.

At least 26 healthcare workers in Latvia confirmed infected with COVID-19

At least 26 healthcare workers in Latvia have been infected with COVID-19, according to information reported by the Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre expert Jurijs Perevoščikovs.

UN Secretary General calls for solidarity seeing pandemic as a global test

UN Secretary General António Guterres has evaluated that the social and economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest test to mankind since World War Two, British public broadcaster BBC reports.

Agricultural product price level up 1.5% in Latvia last year

Compared to 2018, price index of agricultural output increased by 1.5 % in 2019, which was mainly due to the 5 % rise in prices of livestock products. Price index of crop products grew by 0.9 %.

Start of inability to cover debts seen in Estonian economy

In Estonian economy hit by the outbreak of COVID-19 and emergency restrictions, initial indications of payment defaults have been noticed by the risk management firm Creditinfo Eesti, according to Estonian public broadcaster ERR.

Labour costs in Latvia considerably below EU and Eurozone average in 2019

Average hourly labour costs in Latvia were EUR 9.9 last year, which is considerably below the average of European Union (EU) and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat on Tuesday, 31 March.

Youth Song and Dance Celebration in Latvia pushed back to 2021

The XII Latvian School Song and Dance Celebration Committee and Song and Dance Council decided on Tuesday, 31 March, to push back this summer’s youth song and dance celebration to 2021, as Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska confirmed in a press-conference.

Russia sees COVID-19 infection rate jump by 500 in one day

In Russia, the infection rate with COVID-19 has accelerated as authorities registered 500 new cases in one day. Meanwhile, people are getting discharged after recovery in hospitals, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Latvian minister allows face-to-face teaching at schools will not return this year

It is clear remote teaching at Latvia’s schools and vocational education facilities will remain for longer. It is also possible face-to-face teaching will not return at all this season. This means most school children will also likely miss centralized exams, said Latvian Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama.

Electricity price drops to the lowest level of the past seven years

This year there has been a rapid decline of electricity wholesale price in Latvia. Nord Pool price in Latvia’s area reached its historically lowest point in March, according to market data of the Public Utilities Commission.

Riga city executive director Juris Radzevičs temporarily suspended from his post

The head of Riga city municipality’s interim administration Edvīns Balševics has suspended the city’s executive director Juris Radzevičs from his post.

Fuel sales in Estonia down by 30% to 50%

Petrol stations in Estonia have during the outbreak of COVID-19 and emergency restrictions observed a significant fall in the sales of fuel, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

BNN INTERVIEW | How is COVID-19 used to prolong Lembergs’ trial?

Attempts to prolong Aivars Lembergs’ trial still continue. The accused are trying to use the state of emergency in the country as an excuse to cancel hearings. But when asked about the option to organize trials via video conference, the accused say – let the state pay for a computer and internet connection, as they would not use theirs for such a task, BNN was told by prosecutor Juris Juriss.

UK urged to extend Brexit transition period; London says: «No»

The European Parliament’s most influential faction has suggested the United Kingdom to prolong its the transition period of its withdrawal from the European Union over the effects of the pandemic of COVID-19, The Guardian reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltics. 398 in Latvia, 533 in Lithuania, 745 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 398. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, reports 533 confirmed cases. The latest data for Estonia points to 715 confirmed coronavirus infection cases.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!