Mikelsons has seen business interests and property arrested as the Latvenergo investigation continues. (photo: latvenergo)
RIGA - The stock interests of four suspects in the high-profile Latvenergo graft investigation have been frozen amid a deepening scandal that could baloon to include politicians.
Former "Latvenergo" President Karlis Mikelsons, his deputy Aigars Melko and consultant Andrejs Lavrinovics, along with Daugavpils businessman Mihails Paladijs, were detained in mid-June as part of an investigation by Latvian anti-corruption watchdog KNAB. A total of eight people have so far been detained in the case.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday that he thought the investigation could grow to include politicians in addition to businessmen. Latvenergo is one of Latvia's largest state-owned companies.
“That politicians are involved in these possible fraud in transactions cannot be ruled out,” Dombrovskis said in an interview with television news program "900 seconds."
He said the European Anti-Fraud Office, the European Commission’s anti-corruption unit, is now also involved in the investigation.
The "nozare.lv" online business news site reported on July 7 that authorities had frozen Paladijs' 100 percent stake in "Buvenergoserviss", which amounted to approximately a half million euros.
The website said KNAB had previously arrested Livanovics' 100 percent stake in "Energy Consulting" company, Mikelsons' 75 percent interest in "Unleash Performance" and 20 percent shareholding in "Brauksanas macibu centrs", as well as Mikelsons and Melko's shares (33.75 percent each) in the companies "Innovia" and "Cell Finance" (50 percent each).