VILNIUS - Dainoras Bradauskas, head of the Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate (VMI), is suspected of exerting illegal influence on financial inspections of the country's largest business groups, MG Baltic and Vilniaus Prekyba (VP), carried out by the tax authority, sources said.
The Finance Ministry last week launched an official probe into possible corrupt activities by Bradauskas, based on information from law-enforcement bodies.
According to the sources, the Finance Ministry was informed, among other things, about contacts and personal meetings between Bradauskas and MG Baltic Vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis allegedly aimed at coordinating their actions regarding certain VMI investigations.
It is said that Bradauskas repeatedly met with Kurlianskis shortly after his appointment as the VMI head in April 2015 to discuss the tax authority's ongoing probes involving VP and MG Baltic.
It is suspected that the two men discussed how to influence tax inspectors in charge of these investigations and that Bradauskas shared information about the investigations with Kurlianskis in exchange for his political support.
It is also suspected that Bradauskas coordinated the course of some major investigations with Diana Dominiene, a former member of the management board at the VP Group.
The VMI, in cooperation with the Latvian and Estonian tax authorities, has been investigating since last summer possible tax evasion schemes at the VP Group.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office also conducted a pre-trial investigation into the activities of the VP group and its shareholders, but it dropped the probe last August, saying that no infringements had been identified.
The VMI said last fall that it was carrying out inspections of Darius Mockus, the president and sole shareholder of MG Baltic, and four of the group's companies.
Dominiene was questioned in last year's biggest political corruption case in which Kurlianskis is suspected of bribery.