RIGA - The Competition Council has imposed fines of more than EUR 16 million on ten companies involved in the so-called construction cartel case, as the council's representative Zane Gorskova told LETA.
The Competition Council has not yet revealed the names of the companies it has fined, nor the amount of each individual fine. This information will be released next week after the ten companies are informed about the Competition Council's decision.
As reported, he Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) earlier this year ended the criminal procedure launched in 2018 on the so-called construction cartel, in which business representatives and state officials were suspects, but the Competition Council still continued investigation in the case.
TV3 reported that 18 companies suspected of being involved in the cartel included Skonto Buve, Velve, Rere Buve, Re&Re, Rere Meistari, Arcers, Latvijas Energoceltnieks, LNK Industries, RBSSKALS Buvvadiba, RBSSKALS, Latvijas Tilti, Merks, Kodols M, Monum, Enfort, Abora, Ostas Celtnieks, and UPB.
LETA also reported, KNAB said that it had received information about alleged large-scale bribe in relation to business interests, including in areas not related to procurements, and also about possible price fixing in procurements.
On September 19, 2018, KNAB launched a criminal procedure on large-scale bribery and abuse of official powers.
During investigation, KNAB saw alleged violations of competition rights and informed the Competition Council on it.
During pre-trial investigation, KNAB did not obtain proof of possible corruption in the case and on May 10 this year decided to close the case against eight persons.
The Competition Council representative Maris Spicka said that irrespective of KNAB findings, the Competition Council continues its own investigation to see whether the allegations on the illegal agreement or cartel are true. The Competition Council had to make its decision by August 1.