Saeima deputy suspect in tax-evasion probe

Saeima member Regīna Ločmele-Luņova (Harmony) has been deemed a suspect in a case which is part of an even wider criminal investigation into money laundering and tax avoidance schemes, Latvian Television learned from the Financial Police Friday.

According to FP director Kaspars Podiņš the VAT avoidance scam helped altogether 22 firms skip paying taxes, for which 33 persons have been named as suspects.

It is induced that Ločmele-Luņova’s security services company Jaguar, back in 2010, may have been the beneficiary of such illegal schemes.

Unofficial sources say her company remained up to 15,000 lats in debt for unpaid taxes to the State Revenue Service (VID).

The FP points out the probe estimates losses to state coffers up to €700,000 via a scheme that laundered more than €3.6 million via 70 companies registered across Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Singapore, and China, some of which are shell companies claiming to operate in various sectors.

The Saeima member herself denies any involvement in illegal activities and claims the accusations are political revenge for her work on behalf of the victims of the Zolitūde disaster.

Along with Thursday’s news that her witness status in the case had been changed to suspect, Saeima must now rule on whether to make her available for prosecution.

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