Ministry of Transport (SM) plans to address the government with a proposal to liquidate the company Riga Railway Wagon Company Baltija (RVU Baltija) acquired by SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš, the seller of which may have been related to the Ukrainian oligarch Dmitro Firtas, accused of serious crimes, TV3 show “Nothing personal”.
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In 2016, the government of Māra Kučinska (ZZS) instructed Latvijas dzelzceļš to invest 1.3 million euros to adapt the railway NATO for the transport of military equipment. This money and NATO co-financing were used to rebuild Garkalne station. Another half a million euros was allocated to rebuild old rail freight platforms into which American tanks can be transported, as well as to build equipment for securing cargo.
Under the pretext of this need, “Latvian railwaydecided to buy a small, unsuccessful company RVU “Baltija”. During the time of the former president of “Latvijas dzelzceļš” Uģis Magonis, the railway had already invested in the company, allocating property to it in Daugavpils. The government allowed the railway to buy the company for 330,000 euros.
The decision was not unanimous in the government. In the media, the deal was called strange, but “Latvijas Dzelzceļš” rejected all concerns, saying that RVU “Baltija” has a unique knowledge and ingenious business plan. Formally RVU “Baltija” fulfilled the task – rebuilt ten cargo platforms, spending twice as much However, the fasteners made turned out to be defective and not used, and the program said that the company had been operating as a shell all these years and had not done any real activity, but 900,000 euros had been spent through it.
The company did not perform any of the works itself, but commissioned them from other companies, while RVU “Baltija” itself had one employee all these years – its manager Guntis Innuss, who has now left the job at the “Latvijas dzelzceļš” concern.
Now the Ministry of Transport is preparing to submit to the government a decision on the liquidation of RVU “Baltija”.
In 2016, RVU “Baltija” railway bought from British citizen Georgija Česnokova, whose origin of money was unknown at that time. “Nothing personal” explained that there was a connection between Chesnokov and the Ukrainian oligarch Firtash, who was arrested in Austria.
Chesnokov was a director of the British company Longridge Capital Limited. Together with him, Dennis Slobodjan was in charge of the company. He is the head of the Firtash Foundation, founded by Firtash. The fund was liquidated in 2017. Česnokov owned two more companies in Latvia, which stopped working around the same time as Česnokov sold the plant in Daugavpils to Latvijas Dzelzceļš.
The program emphasized that both the closure of Latvian businesses and the liquidation of the Firtash Fund coincide with the time when ASV oligarch was charged with corruption and dealings with Russian organized crime groups. His known assets were arrested in Europe. Firtash was arrested in Austria in 2014 on charges of corruption in his business dealings in India.
Firthas was one of the most important pro-Kremlin Ukraine sponsors of President Viktor Yanukovych. He, on the other hand, got rich thanks to transactions that, according to the program, could not take place without the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Firthas company “RosUkrEnergo” gas from the Russian “Gazprom“bought below market price, earning three billion dollars in four years alone.
State Security Service a Constitution Protection Bureau The program was informed that the government had not asked the authorities for their views on the railway deal with Chernokov. The question is within the competence of the Military Intelligence and Security Service, which did not provide an answer.