Court leaves Škoda Transportation official in custody

The Rīga City Vidzeme District Court on February 26 ruled to leave Škoda Transportation official Vladislav Kozák, who has been detained in connection with Rigas Satiksme municipal transport company’s corruption case, in custody, LETA learned.

Of the six persons that were originally detained as part of the Rīgas Satiksme corruption probe, only Kozák and businessman Māris Martinsons still remain behind bars.

As reported, the Corruption Combating and Prevention Bureau (KNAB) is currently conducting a criminal investigation into allegedly corruptive procurement deals of Rīgas Satiksme. The investigation was started in November and has been conducted in collaboration with Poland’s anti-corruption agency.

In December 2018, six persons were held in Latvia and two in Poland in connection with the probe.

Although KNAB is not giving more details about the ongoing investigation, the anti-corruption agency’s representatives revealed that the case is about an €800,000 bribe that some of the people detained in Riga had helped to hide. The bribery case in related to the delivery of nearly 200 buses to Riga city. Rīgas Satiksme organized the bus tender from 2013 to 2016.

A representative of the Polish anti-corruption agency said that the €800,000 bribe had to be paid in small installments as fees for fictitious consulting services through a number of firms registered in Latvia, Cyprus, Hong Kong and China before they reached Riga.

In 2016, Poland’s Solaris Bus&Coach won a tender to supply hydrogen-powered transport vehicles to Rīgas Satiksme for €21,499,670, excluding VAT.

In 2016, Rigas Satiksme also concluded a €62.59 million deal with Škoda Transportation on the purchase of 20 low-deck trams.

In 2013, Rigas Satiksme awarded Skoda Electric a €131.64 million contract on the purchase of 125 trolleybuses.

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