Fines worth over EUR 4.4 million imposed in road construction cartel case

  • 2023-06-13
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Competition Council has imposed fines worth EUR 4.4 million in the road construction cartel case, LETA was told at the Competition Council.

Based of information provided by the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) and evidence obtained in an inquiry, the Competition Council has found violations of the prohibitions set out in the Competition Law and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in the activities of road construction companies, imposing fines totaling more than EUR 4.4 million.

The Competition Council will inform more about the decisions taken in the so-called road construction cartel case at a press conference this Wednesday.

The press conference will be attended by Competition Council chairman Juris Gaikis and Ieva Smita, head of the Competition Council's Prohibited Agreements Department.

The Competition Council told LETA in 2021 that the Council was conducting an inquiry into the road construction sector.

Previously, KNAB representatives confirmed to LETA that in 2021 the anti-corruption bureau was investigating alleged crimes committed by a public official in connection with public procurement in the road construction sector.

KNAB carried out searches as part of this case in autumn 2019. KNAB suspected that in 2017 and 2018, an official of SJSC Latvijas Valsts Celi (Latvian State Roads) allegedly provided other persons - potential tenderers - with information on the company's planned procurement for road maintenance and rehabilitation. At that time, two persons were detained in the case.

KNAB has now clarified to LETA that a pre-trial investigation is ongoing in the criminal case, but there are no other criminal proceedings or investigations related to road construction firms in the office's records that would indicate possible corrupt practices or conflicts of interest of the officials.

Also, Nothing Personal program of TV3 channel reported in late September 2021 that the Riga City Vidzeme Suburbs Court is its decision on a search warrant explained that the road builders may have exchanged commercially sensitive information and agreed on the conditions for participation in tenders organized Latvijas Valsts Celi and Riga City Council's Department of Transport.