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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 01.06.2020, 04:52

Lembergs – first billionaire in Latvia

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 14.08.2008.Print version
Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs and members of the Lembergs family have been co-owners of dozens of the largest Ventspils enterprises since the 1990s, according to testimony by attorney at law Gints Laivins-Laivinieks, Lembergs' long-time confidant. The testimony has been included in the criminal case against Lembergs, where Lembergs has been charged with taking bribes, money laundering and other crimes, Baltic Screen has found out.

Aivars Lembergs.

Company Laika stars's board chairman Vadims Jerosenko said that the total value of the companies that, as Laivins-Laivinieks said, belonged or partly belonged to Lembergs, could have been around USD 1 billion some time ago, the newspaper Dienas Bizness writes today.


Laivins-Laivinieks has been to the prosecutor's office on several occasions, his testimony is over twenty pages long. In short, the testimony states that many Ventspils companies registered abroad have close ties to Lembergs and his family members – Anrijs and Liga Lembergs, and they are the actual beneficiaries.


Laivins-Laivinieks mentioned such companies as the Liechtenstein-registered Annaplis Anstalt, a shareholder in the Latvia-registered company Puses, the British Virgin Islands-registered Barnes Industries, a co-owner of the Latvia-registered Baltimar VT, IAG Industrieanlagen GmbH (shareholder in Ventbunkers), Electrotech (Europe) Limited (shareholder in Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals, SZMA V, Ventshoes, VentTopaz), Digentia Corporation (shareholder in Ventrans), Kaywood International (shareholder in Ventako, Ventbetons, Venceb, Ventplac, Lat Transnafta), Somers Business Limited. According to Laivins-Laivinieks, the Lembergs are the actual beneficiaries in these companies, except the company Somers Business Limited where, besides the Lembergs, the beneficiaries also are Olafs Berkis, Igors Skoks and Mamerts Vaivads.


In his testimony, Laivins-Laivinieks also mentioned the companies Netherfin Financial Services B.V. and London Industries. According to Laivins-Laivinieks, he represented several of these companies in Latvia.


Laivins-Laivinieks reveals that he worked as a proxy for the Lembergs at these companies. Aivars Lembergs and his son Anrijs Lembergs in most cases instructed Laivins-Laivinieks verbally, Laivins-Laivinieks said.


Laivins-Laivinieks' statement also said that Barnaby International N.V., the parent company of Netherfin Financial Services B.V., was bought in Aivars Lembergs' interest. The statement also mentions that the Lembergs were the actual beneficiaries in the Netherlands-registered company Bellaggingsmaatschappij Geit B.V., a co-owner of several Ventspils companies: Mineral-Trans-Serviss, Ostas flote, Seastar, Kalija parks, Ventspils tirdzniecibas osta.


Laivins-Laivinieks reveals that his shares in the company Ventk Company Limited, the co-owner of the Ventspils companies Solvtrans, Ventspils Apvienota Baltijas banka, Ventspils tirdzniecibas sabiedriba, Ventminerals" and "Ventamonjaks, actually belong to Aivars Lembergs.


As for Swiss-registered company Mult Nord AG, a shareholder in the joint-stock Kalija parks, Laivins-Laivinieks said that, as far as he knows, the company may have had several beneficiaries from 1996: Grogorijs Lucanskis, Olegs Stepanovs, Aivars Lembergs and others.


Lembergs himself has never officially admitted being a co-owner of any offshore companies and, via these offshore companies, a co-owner of a large number of Ventspils enterprises.

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