“Rīgas satiksme” scandal: the company is going to recover millions from “Škoda Transportation”

He noted that the company, together with the audit company “Ernst & Young Baltic”, is currently actively working on the evaluation of procurements involved in the corruption scandal. So far, it has been established that “Rīgas satiksme” will be able to collect at least five million in fines. Out of 100 planned trolleybuses, only 54 have been delivered to Riga, but out of 20 trams – only seven.

“Both of these procurements have been completed, but there are no vehicles and the contracts stipulate contractual penalties for non-compliance. At the moment, it is clear that we will be able to demand more than five million euros from suppliers,” said Matiss.

Meanwhile, the procurement, which envisages receiving 175 buses from the Polish company “Solaris Urbino”, is still being evaluated, as so far 140 vehicles have been delivered to Riga. This procurement envisages that the number of vehicles can be increased by another 30%, which was also implemented by the previous company’s board, as a result of which the cooperation has been extended until 2020. “But here, too, several deadlines have not been met and there will be contractual penalties,” said Matīss.

He said it was “very strange” that the board of the previous company had not started the fine recovery process in time, because the delays were clearly visible.

Matīss said that in the course of the audit process so far it has been established that the company has paid in advance about five million euros in these procurements for vehicles not yet delivered. It will be possible to recover this money, because valid bank guarantees are available and requests for refunds only need to be formulated in a legally correct manner.

As reported, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has initiated criminal proceedings in connection with three procurements performed by “Rīgas satiksme”. Bribery of officials and money laundering are being investigated.

One of them is the purchase of “Rīgas satiksme” low-floor trams in 2016, the total amount of which was 62,597,477 euros, KNAB informed. The archive of the agency LETA shows that as a result of this procurement an agreement was concluded between “Rīgas satiksme” and the Czech company “Škoda Transportation” for the supply of 20 low-floor trams.

The second is the procurement organized by “Rīgas satiksme” for the delivery of trolleybuses in 2013, the total amount of which was 131,646,135 euros. According to LETA, the Czech company Škoda Electric won this procurement, receiving the right to supply 125 trolleybuses.

The third procurement is the procurement performed by “Rīgas satiksme” in 2013 for the delivery of buses in the amount of 75,808,297 euros. LETA found out that the Polish company “Solaris Bus & Coach” has won it and it plans to deliver 175 new buses to Riga, concluding the entire delivery in 2019.

In response to the operative activities of the KNAB, all five members of the Board of “Rīgas satiksme” submitted resignations to the Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs (S). Meanwhile, Ushakov has appointed an interim board of three people. The interim board is chaired by Matīss, and includes Edmunds Zivtiņš and Jānis Geduševs.

At the beginning of December, the Vidzeme Suburb Court of the City of Riga remanded six of the seven suspects in the case in custody as a precautionary measure. After eight days in prison, Alexander Krjaček, a long-term member of the party “Honor to Serve Riga”, was released. The former head of Rīgas satiksme Leons Bemhens and the director of the infrastructure maintenance and development department Igors Volkinšteins, Škoda Transportation official Vladislavs Kozaks, businessman Maris Martinsons and businessman Edgars Teterovskis are still in custody.

Eleter Kokina, a member of the board of the company Tram Servis Riga, which was now liquidated by Tozovskis’ wife and Kozaka, has been given a non-custodial security measure.

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