Anti-graft squad asks for 23 to be charged in 'language license' case

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has asked the prosecutor's office to bring charges against 23 people for allegedly selling official certificates proving knowledge of the Latvian language.

These certificates are used to prove knowledge of the Latvian language in order to acquire work. For example, many officials are required to have excellent command of the Latvian language. 

Three former employees of the National Center for Education are among the people suspected by the KNAB.

While five people who have received the certificates are to be charged with the use of fraudulent documents.

Four intermediaries are also named in the case, as well as five people who used fraudulent documents to take the state language exam. 

In its message to the press, KNAB thanked the State Border Guard in Daugavpils for help during the investigation. 

In a separate set of cases, KNAB is asking for the prosecution of three people working at the national Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) who are believed to be part of a scam involving bogus work contracts and abuse of an official position that cost the state nearly 29,000 euros between 2013 and 2016.

In December 2016, KNAB staff arrived at the center to carry out procedural searches. Documents from the center's office were removed for the period from 2013 to 2016, which coincides with the time period when SPKC was led by Inga Šmate.

SPKC is a direct administration institution under the Ministry of Health, which was established on April 1, 2012. Its purpose is to implement national public health policies in the areas of epidemiological safety and disease prevention, and to ensure the implementation and coordination of health promotion policies.

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