Eight detained in Latvia and abroad in Rīga Transport graft case

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Six people in Latvia and two in Poland have been detained in a graft case over the tenders of Rīga's municipal company Rīgas satiksme (Rīga Transport). 

The Corruption Combating and Prevention Bureau (KNAB) started a criminal case in November about possible graft in the municipal transport company, and on December 11 carried out 30 searches in the Rīga City Council and the Rīgas satiksme offices.

As reported, high-profile businessman Māris Martinsons has been arrested, and it has now emerged that Igors Volkinšteins, the director of the Department for Infrastructure Maintenance and Development at the Rīga City Council has also been detained. 

The two people in Poland were detained by the country's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau in cooperation with the Latvian authorities.

KNAB does not reveal any further details, and, while Rīgas satiksme representative Viktors Zaķis confirmed to Latvian Radio that Volkinšteins has been detained, he said the company has not been informed as to the reasons for his arrest.

"For what, and for how long he'll be held -- I have no idea. We'd gladly tell you ourselves, but we don't know," he said.

Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) likewise said he has no information from KNAB over the case and that he would offer comment only after consulting with vice-mayor Andris Ameriks (Honor to Serve Rīga).

An announcement by KNAB says that the office will provide more detailed information "as soon as it is possible to do so in a way that does not harm the interests of the investigation". 

Volkinšteins has been working at Rīgas satiksme since 2003. According to his official income declaration, he was paid €66,600 for work at the company last year, had savings of €167,800 at the Citadele Bank and received €30,800 in interest payments from the bank.

In addition, he owns real estate in Rīga and Lapmežciems and also chairs the tender committee in the Rīgas satiksme company. 

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