Winergy link to Norvik bank fraud

Take note – story published 9 years and 4 months ago

The Economic Police (EP) have assigned the status of suspect against nine persons involved with the wind-farm operator Winergy following a criminal investigation into their alleged malicious defrauding of commercial bank and company creditor Norvik. Winergy company officials, on their part, dispute the authorities’ view of the affair and insist that the wind-park firm is in fact the victim in this case.

The Economic Crimes department of the State Police service confirmed to Latvian Television (LTV) Friday that the criminal investigation has led to the determination of the status of suspect being applied against nine unnamed persons. LTV has learned the possible identities of some of the suspected Winergy associates, including Andrus Petersons, Tīna Petersone, Alari Piperals, Ilze Bērziņa, Henri Treude and Jānis Vanks.

Jānis Vanks, who is acting executive director of Winergy, confirmed the fact of his status as suspect in the case, as well as that of Petersons and Bērziņš. Treude, on his part, rather than being assigned suspect status, has been called to testify as a witness. The other names on the list are not company employees, therefore cannot warrant a comment.

The Winergy executive denied the allegations, repeating his side’s argument that Norvik had caused the company losses by demanding full repayment of the formerly agreed loan.

In a written statement the company maintained “we do not acknowledge this police decision.”

“Strange as it may seem, the police cannot explain what has happened, what is the object of suspicion. The fact that there was hardly any progress in the criminal investigation until Winergy submitted its case to the international arbitration court, then suddenly there were searches, seizures and accusations. This points clearly to the ineffective use of state resources. State structures, in lobbying the interests of Norvik, which paralyzed Winergy for more than a year-and-a-half, have taken steps that will only significantly worsen its positions in the international hearings Winergy has undertaken against the Latvian state,” reads the statement.

Winergy owner Indrek Kuivalik submitted the international arbitration claim against the State Chancellery because he believes Latvia has violated its bilateral agreement to encourage mutual investment and protection.

The criminal investigation has been ongoing since 2013, and it is looking into how Winergy, by taking and not paying back the loan demanded by Norvik, may have defrauded the bank with the help of insiders such as Vanks, who used to be a Norvik manager but is now employed at Winergy. In any case, Norvik maintains that Winergy cheated the bank of its money through various manipulations of transactions and declarations of bankruptcy.

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