The railway electrification project in development by LDz is potentially lethal for Latvia’s national economy, says former head of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s Operative Investigations Office Juris Jurass, adding that it may be one of the biggest crimes currently being planned in the country.
Jurass asked Aivars Lembergs if talks similar to those that took place in Ridzene Hotel in 2009, 2010 and 2011 continued to this day. “I would like to emphasize this specifically in relation to LDz’s planned electrification project, the total estimated worth is EUR 1.8 billion.”
He says the cargo volume is critically below the level that would be necessary to sustain it on at least a zero level.
“Unless this project has significant economic justifications behind it, I can say that this particular project is one of the biggest crimes that is possibly being planned at the moment,” Jurass said.
Aivars Lembergs said he had always been very reserved about this project. He added that Eurostat was currently in the process of assessing the project’s economic worth. European experts will decide if this project has any commercial worth.
When asked if he saw any signs of state capture in the project, Jurass said it was a specific project, the goal of which was fooling the European Commission into providing money, which would be used “the usual the way oligarchs use money”.
“In the end, this project is unsustainable. It has no economic justification behind it, but it does have very specific people from Ventspils behind it, because LDz employees are unable to justify its existence,” Jurass concluded. (BNN/Business World Magazine)