Latvia, Legislation, Tourism

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 29.05.2020, 03:24

Officials of Riga Tourism Development Bureau to be probed for embezzlement, fraud other offenses

BC, Riga, 13.05.2019.Print version
The Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) has started a criminal probe against several officials of the municipal foundation Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) over embezzlement of budget funds, counterfeiting of documents and use of counterfeit documents, as well as fraud, LETA was told at the anti-corruption bureau.

As LETA observed, KNAB officers, including operatives in masks, raided the RTAB office on Monday. KNAB representatives confirmed that an urgent operation was under way.

KNAB informed that as a result of a long and painstaking investigative work, a criminal procedure was started on April 5 against several RTAB officials for over embezzlement of budget funds, counterfeiting of documents and use of counterfeit documents, as well as fraud.

KNAB has been working closely with the State Audit Office to obtain the necessary information. Simultaneous investigative activities were carried out also in Germany, Sweden and Spain on Monday.

KNAB promised to give more detailed information as soon as it is possible without undermining the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

The RTAB board includes Guntars Grinvalds, Vita Jermolovica and Riga City Council member Maksims Tolstojs (Harmony). In 2018, the foundation turned over EUR 6.17 mln and made a EUR 606,973 profit.

As reported, the State Audit Office has concluded that over the past three years the local authority of Riga has misspent over EUR 20 mln worth of taxpayers’ money through municipal foundations – RTAB and

The state auditors came to the conclusion that the municipal foundations have been receiving generous budget allocations without any grounds, spending the funding on dubious donation schemes, obscure branding activities, as well as salaries for possibly fictitious employees. The municipal foundations were also unable to explain the principles based on which they have been allocating money to various projects.

The audit has found serious flaws in the planning, allocation and oversight of the funding granted to the municipal foundations, which has led to the conclusion that over the past three years the capital city’s local authority has misspent more than EUR 20 worth of Riga residents’ money.

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