Financial Services, Latvia, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 11.12.2023, 09:32

Pop musician also suspected of circulating rumors about devaluation of lat

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 22.11.2008.Print version
A pop musician is also suspected of spreading rumors about a possible devaluation of the lat; the person allegedly urged the audience during a concert to withdraw money from Latvian banks, according to information from the Security Police.

As reported, the Ventspils University College lecturer Dmitrijs Smirnovs was detained on suspicion of spreading rumors about devaluation of the Latvian national currency, as the newspaper Telegraf reported yesterday.


The Security Police currently investigate two criminal cases on attempts to destabilize the financial situation in Latvia, as Kristine Apse-Krumina, aide to the Security Police chief, told LETA.


One of the criminal cases was opened following a complaint from a bank, which said that a member of a popular band, during a concert at the Jelgava Culture Center on November 9, urged the people to withdraw their money from Parex banka and Latvijas Krajbanka.


The criminal case was opened on November 14.


According to information on the Internet, "Putnu balle" performed a concert in Jelgava on November 9.


The band's manager Anete Kalnina told LETA though that no such statements were made during the concert by the band members.


"As it often happens at concerts, the band members communicated with the public, telling jokes about themselves as well as many other things. The band had performed two songs when the guitarist Karlis Bumeistars had to tune his guitar, which is when Valters Fridenbergs started talking to the public," Kalnina said. Commenting the current situation in Latvia, Fridenbergs said that the audience had better hear the concert to the end, and only then rush to ATMs. "The people at the culture center got the joke, and laughed. It was not an encouragement" to withdraw money from banks, said Kalnina.


Apse-Krumina said that the investigators have already determined which person made the statement, and the person is a suspect in the criminal case. Investigation continues, she said.


As reported, the Ventspils University College lecturer Dmitrijs Smirnovs was detained in connection with the opinion that he had expressed during a debate about the development of the Latvian economy and the future of the banking and credit system of Latvia, which was published in Ventspils' local newspaper Ventas Balss.


During the discussion, which was published in the newspaper on October 2, Smirnovs said: "The U.S. problems are trifling, compared to what awaits us. They have now reached the bottom and will start to recover. Problems in the European Union have only just begun and we may be hit by a crisis that is ten or maybe twenty times worse than that in the United States. The Swedish banks will no longer be able to offer inexpensive loans through their subsidiary banks in Latvia. They will tell us to pay back the debts! How will we pay them – with the real estate? We have no assets to pay back the debts! [..] The pyramid has been built and now we have to wait until it collapses. [..] The only thing I can suggest now: first of all, do not keep your money in banks, second: do not save money in lats, as it is very dangerous at the moment."

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