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Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars

Transit industry: it is unacceptable for thousands of people to not receive wages because of Lembergs

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Ventspils Freeport, Aivars Lembergs, sanctions, Aivars Gobiņš, salaries, employees, FKTK, KNAB, Rudolf Meroni, important, Tālis Linkaits, transit It is unacceptable for salaries to not be paid to thousands of people who have nothing to do with Aivars Lembergs, punishing them alongside the person who is under sanctions, Delfi portal was told by Aivars Gobiņš, official in multiple Ventspils-based transit companies under management by Swiss lawyer Rudolf Meroni.

He explains: «If the decision made by the Office of the Prosecutor General approved by court is not enough for the finance sector, the government and relevant ministries need to immediately step in to explain the situation. Otherwise several thousand taxpayers will suffer – employees of aforementioned companies and their families.»

«Banks have blocked accounts of the companies that have been under control and management of a person delegated by the Office of the Prosecutor General for 12 years.»

«Banks don’t want to study the situation. Even the Finance and Capital Market Commission offers no explanations what should be done if the person under sanctions has no control or influence in companies in which he is mentioned as the beneficial owner,» stresses Gobiņš.

«This is why Rudolf Meroni has pledged to do everything he can to make sure employees of companies under his management and their families are not forced to suffer any inconveniences,» Gobiņš told Delfi.

Multiple companies at Ventspils and Riga port are able to operate, but their bank accounts are blocked. Some important players at Ventspils port and Riga port have ended up in this situation, as Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits mentioned in an interview to Delfi TV with Jānis Domburs on Thursday, 9 January.

Linkaits explained that this is a specific situation, because there is no list of legal persons to be applied with sanctions because of Lembergs’ influence over them: «Basically it is each bank’s choice to pick in accordance with their risk management strategy who they will or will not work with, where this person’s influence is direct and where it is indirect and performed using third parties.»

Linkaits admitted in this interview that sanctions against Lembergs have also affected companies operating at Riga Freeport. It is has been mentioned in the public space that Lembergs may secretly be one of the beneficial owners in Riga Commercial Port. According to data from Lursoft, Riga Commercial Port is a direct member in 17 other companies, most of which operate at the port. Riga Commercial Port board chairman Ralfs Kļaviņš told Delfi he has no information about a possible block of his company’s bank account.

Riga Freeport CEO Ansis Zeltiņš told Delfi that he does not have information about this. However, he added that the possibility of a wave of sanctions reaching Riga Freeport cannot be excluded. Zeltiņš said he is certain that if any of the active stevedores experiences serious problems with everyday transactions, the port authority will know about it immediately.

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