Police takes over Latvian hospital takeover saga

The State Police has opened criminal proceedings against the construction company Velve in connection with the disappearance of construction documentation for the new building of Stradiņš Hospital, Latvian Radio reported February 23.

Stradiņš Hospital's contract with the construction company Velve was unilaterally terminated on February 13 and the site of the new building was taken over on Wednesday, also unilaterally and with the presence of the police.

Upon taking possession of the construction site, experts found that representatives of Velve Ltd, together with their personal belongings, had removed the project documentation belonging to the hospital from the construction site.

The hospital informed the State Police, who arrived at the scene, and criminal proceedings have been initiated under Chapter 22 of the Criminal Law - criminal offenses against the management order.

The hospital's spokesperson, attorney-at-law Benno Butulis, pointed out that these documents - 25 folders in total - are currently with the police, who will look into what belongs to the client and what belongs to the builder.

Representatives of Velve explained that it is legal to take one's own property, including certain documents, from the construction site of a hospital block that one has built, and all responsible institutions must have their own copy of these documents, but this is the company's copy.

The builder therefore calls this accusation a slander on the part of Stradiņš Hospital.

The builder believes that the takeover of the facility was illegal and that is why these documents were taken from the facility, so that the company could also keep proof of the work done for itself, said Kārlis Misiņš, a representative of the construction company "Velve" and project manager of Stradiņš Hospital.

"The hospital is engaged in property crime, the situation at the moment is that these are the documents of Velve, these are the construction records, the records of the Velve site, this is the construction project that the client gave us at the conclusion of the contract to carry out the works. Now, by taking away this documentation that we had on site, the client makes Velve and the subcontractors powerless to prove the quantity of work done, and this is simply illegal," said Misiņš.

No work is currently taking place on the Stradiņš Hospital site, as the client is inspecting the site and taking stock of the work done and the damage, but a hospital spokesman also said that the incident was delaying the inspection and that none of the construction workers had turned up this morning when invited to do so with the client.

Meanwhile, Velve's sole board member Jānis Lapiņš resigned from the board of Velve on Friday, Lapiņš told LETA.

He said that he joined Velve on January 18 this year "to successfully implement the projects he had started and to improve the company's reputation, regain its position as an industry leader, and promote the company's development, including being a reliable and respected partner for the company's customers and suppliers".

"Unfortunately, the events of the last month, including the attacks against the company, have prevented me from starting to implement these objectives," says Lapiņš.

The company told LETA that the duties of the member of the board will be fulfilled by the previous member Ivo Dubkevics.

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