Corruption cops say trend of bribing officials continues

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has concluded in its 2023 Annual Report that there is a continuing negative trend in Latvia regarding bribery of public officials in the interests of legal entities. 

The KNAB's data indicates that the number of legal persons whose interests are served by bribing public officials is increasing every year.

According to KNAB, this negative trend highlights the importance of internal anti-corruption control systems for the integrity of companies and the mitigation of corruption risks. 

Last year, the most frequently investigated criminal offense in criminal cases initiated by KNAB was bribe-taking and bribery, while in criminal proceedings referred to prosecution – bribery. The average duration of investigations in criminal proceedings initiated by the KNAB was four months, which, according to the Bureau, demonstrates the institution's ability to "quickly and efficiently" obtain and consolidate evidence.

Last year, KNAB launched 36 criminal cases.  KNAB also sent 18 cases to the prosecutor's office, where 49 individuals and 7 legal entities were incriminated. This is the highest number of persons sent by KNAB to the prosecution in the last five years, KNAB said.

In 2023, 11 criminal proceedings investigated by the KNAB, both last year and in other years, were heard by the courts. Ten persons were sentenced to conditional prison sentences.

KNAB reports that in 2023 it carried out various activities in the field of corruption prevention: it developed and agreed with the Government the Plan of Measures for Preventing and Combating Corruption 2023-2025, which is a national anti-corruption planning document for KNAB and other institutions to implement the measures contained therein. 

The KNAB 2023 activity report is so far only available in Latvian. Reports in English on previous years are available here.

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