Anti-graft squad detains another Rīga Tourism Board official

Latvia's anti-graft office, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has detained Inguna Priedīte, the office chief of the Rīga Tourism Development Board, reports Latvian Television May 15.

Earlier the KNAB detained Vita Jermoloviča (Honor to Serve Rīga), the board chairwoman at the council-run entity.

Under Latvian law, someone can be detained for 48 hours without a court order.

As reported, KNAB has started a criminal case against the Rīga Tourism Development Bureau.

On May 13 anti-graft officers carried out searches at the office of suspended Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony), as well as the premises of the council’s foreign affairs administration and councilor Maksims Tolstojs’ (Harmony) office – Tolstojs is also a board member at the tourism entity.

The KNAB also said that criminal proceedings are being conducted in Germany, Sweden and Spain. The searches coincided with the release of a damning State Audit office report that found around €21 million of municipal funds had been wasted or misappropriated within three years. 

In the audit, the State Audit Office focused on two bodies in particular: the Rīga Tourism Development Bureau and the "riga.lv" web portal.

The Rīga City Council owns 70% of the Rīga Tourism Development Bureau. 

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