The Latvian state still can't get to the assets seized in the Lembergs case. The government will be informed

The Provision State Agency (PSA) last year has not only been unable to take over the assets seized in the Lembergs case but has also been unable to attract a consultant who, using international experience, could help the PSA take over assets registered in different jurisdictions - this is the conclusion that could be drawn from the answers to specific questions Neatkarīgā asked PSA Director Ramona Innusa.
14.01.2022. Uldis Dreiblats
WHAT IS STORED DISAPPEARS INTO THIN AIR. The Provision State Agency can show spectacular photos of millions of seized smuggled cigarettes disappearing into thin air, but it cannot tell where the millions of assets seized in the Lembergs case have gone ©Foto no Nodrošinājuma valsts aģentūras mājaslapas

Thus, the Riga Regional Court's decision of August 17, 2020, which ordered the previous custodian of the assets, Rudolfs Meroni, to transfer the seized assets to the PSA, has not been complied with for 17 months. Accordingly, the PSA has also been unable for 17 months to comply with the court's decision and to take possession of the seized property.

Similarly, for more than a year, the PSA has been unable to identify the successful winner in the tender for a consultant to evaluate, take over and store the property.

This week, Neatkarīgā asked PSA Director Ramona Innusa what problems have emerged in the process of storing the seized assets; which tenderer won the tender "On the management, valuation, safekeeping and custody of financial instruments and rights" announced by the Provision State Agency more than a year ago; whether it has been possible to value the seized assets and whether there has been any waste of assets?

The following answer was received from Vendija Pikše-Kučma, the Public Relations Specialist of the PSA: "At this moment I can answer the questions received on behalf of the Provision State Agency that the Ministry of the Interior in connection with the implementation of the decision of the Riga Regional Court Criminal Court Chamber of August 17, 2020, under case No K04-0001-20/18, criminal cases No 12812001408, No 12812001608, has prepared and sent an information report (restricted access) for consideration by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Taking into account that the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers on the prepared information report may have an impact on the tender discussion 'On the management, valuation, safekeeping and custody of financial instruments and rights' (id. No IEM NVA 2020/119), the Procurement Committee has decided to continue the tender discussion after the consideration of the information report by the Cabinet of Ministers.

There will be no further comment on this at this time, we can come back to this issue after the consideration of the information report."

It should be recalled that in August last year, Neatkarīgā asked the Minister of the Interior, Marija Golubeva, whether she was satisfied with the way the PSA under her authority was implementing the decision of the Riga Regional Court on the takeover of the property. The reply was that the Minister was satisfied (read more).

However, when asked how long it would take to execute the court's decision to take over the seized property from R. Meroni, the Minister replied as follows:

“Answer: The Provision State Agency has announced a procurement, a procurement procedure is currently underway to attract significant legal support for the enforcement of the court judgment. The decision of the court will be enforced as soon as possible."

So now it turns out that there are problems in enforcing the court's decision after all, if the Ministry of the Interior, headed by her, has to seek help from the government on something that is hidden from the general public.

It should be recalled that the procurement mentioned by the Minister, on which there were high hopes, was announced as early as December 30, 2020, and was declared urgent. The opening of tenders took place on February 18 this year, i.e., almost a year has passed since the tenderers were known and no winner has been decided.

Already last summer, Neatkarīgā asked all tenderers - KPMG Baltic, Ernst&Young Baltic, BDO Latvia and law firm Vilgerts - why they thought there was such a serious delay in completing the procurement. We received polite replies were that it would not be appropriate for the tenderers to comment at this time.


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