Searches at Rigas Satiksme related to "nanowater affair"

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The State Police's searches at Rigas Satiksme municipal transport company's offices on October 1 were part of a criminal case derived from the so-called Rigas Satiksme nanowater affair, LETA was confirmed at the prosecutor's office October 3. 

The decision on starting a new criminal case based on what the police had found during the investigation of the nanowater affair was made on May 3 this year, the prosecutor office's press secretary Aiga Eiduka told LETA. The new criminal case deals with large-scale fraud.

The criminal case is investigated by the State Police's Economic Crime Unit, added Eiduka.

The State Police's Public Relations Department declined to comment on the case and on Monday's police searches.

As reported, the State Police's Economic Crime Unit searched Rigas Satiksme offices at 35 Vestienas Street in Riga and a bus terminal in Ilguciems neighborhood on Monday. No Rigas Satiksme officials or employees were detained.

Eiduka also told LETA that there were four defendants in the "nanowater" criminal case, and that the prosecutor's office would forward the case to a court in the near future. The suspects have been charged with large-scale fraud, money laundering, and abuse of office.

The so-called nanowater affair deals with a rigged procurement tender organized by several Rigas Satiksme officials in 2012, which awarded a contract for the supply of "nanotechnological chemicals" to Rigas Satiksme by a company established specifically for carrying out the scheme. Instead of chemicals, the company was delivering water to Rigas Satiksme, but no one bothered to look into the matter until early 2015, when TV3 investigative program Neka Personiga (Nothing Personal) first reported about what later became known as the nanowater affair.

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