Anti-corruption squad swoop on health officials

The Corruption Prevention Bureau has imposed restrictions on the State Emergency Medical Service's director Armands Plorins and the Service's Riga Regional Center head Semjons Strihs, preventing them both from carrying out their professional duties, the LETA newswire reported Thursday.

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) on Tuesday carried out a search at the State Emergency Medical Service on Duntes Street.

Strihs told LETA that KNAB arrived requesting documents related to a contract concerning the leasing of ambulances.

The Health Ministry's State Secretary Solvita Zvidrina told LETA Thursday that a document was received from the Corruption Prevention Bureau on Tuesday, indicating that Plorins is forbidden from visiting his workplace and carrying out his professional duties. The same restrictions apply also to Strihs.

Zvidrina said that the document did not provide any information on whether the Service's top officials are suspects in a criminal case.

The Criminal Law says that a suspect can be imposed with security measures, including a restraining order or a prohibition to perform one's duties.

The ministry will be able to carry on with the case after September 14, when Plorins' labor contract will be officially terminated.

As reported, the State Audit Office believes that the State Emergency Medical Service's contract with "Rigas Sanitara Transporta Autobaze" on leasing of ambulance cars and hiring of drivers has led the state to overpaying about €12 million.

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