A bridge too far for anti-corruption cops in Latvia

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The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) is asking the prosecutor's office to bring charges against eight persons, including Ugis Broza, an official at the Riga City Council's Transport Department, for various crimes and violations allegedly committed during reconstruction of Salu (Island) Bridge in Riga, the LETA newswire reported August 6.

KNAB wants Broze charged with document forgery, abuse of power, trading in influence, and filing fraudulent tax returns. Broze is also implicated in a criminal case on resurfacing of Krisjana Barona Street in Riga, which is reviewed by Riga Vidzeme District Court.

The prosecutor's office is being advised to also charge four former LNK Industrijas employees, including a bridge reconstruction supervisor, chief designer, and reconstruction project manager, according to information LETA has at the moment.

LETA has information that the case deals with a fixed procurement tender for reconstruction of Salu Bridge complex and a EUR 1,818,348 contract between the Riga City Council's Transport Department and LNK signed in September 2015. According to the Corruption Prevention Bureau, one Riga City Council official and seven private individuals have the status of a suspect in the criminal case.

The total amount of damages caused to the Riga budget is estimated at EUR 302,837. Meanwhile works on the bridge, one of the main arteries in the city, are continuing.

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