One person arrested over swindling €2m of EU funds

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The Latvian State Police has uncovered that more than €2m have been swindled out of the EU funds, the police said Tuesday. 

According to the police, at least seven representatives of Latvian and foreign companies have been involved in the crime. So far one person has been given the status of a suspect in the criminal procedure on a large-scale fraud and this person has been arrested.

The police explained that this February law enforcement authorities received information about possible fraud with the EU funds. The police launched a criminal procedure, discovering that a group of several people – representatives of Latvian and foreign companies – imitated business operations, swindling more than €2m out of the EU structural funds.

A man born in 1973 submitted a project to the Latvian Investment and Development Agency for a total cost of €10m. The man deceived the agency, saying that he has already got a bank loan worth €10m. In cooperation with accomplices, he organized artificial cash flow in his bank accounts to prove that. The agency granted more than €2m for further implementation of the project.

In order to receive the remaining financing, the project author imitated business operations, demonstrating the agency that the purchased equipment is used for making products and selling them. During investigation a suspicion rose that the equipment might have not been used for production at all.

The police conducted searches in the venue of the project and places of residence of the involved people and seized a number of documents, electronic data carriers and other evidence of fraud.


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