Daimler bribery case moves forward

  • 2013-06-14
  • From wire reports

RIGA - The Prosecutor General’s Office on June 11 handed over the so-called ‘Daimler’ affair to the Riga Central District Court, said the Prosecutor General’s Office’s spokeswoman Aiga Senberga, reports LETA.

There are currently six persons officially charged in the ‘Daimler’ bribery affair - ex-Riga Mayor Gundars Bojars’ then-advisor on transport affairs and Rigas satiksme council deputy chairman, Leonards Tenis; the director of a company registered in Sweden, Raimonds Krastins; businessman Sergejs Zambers; a certain Agris Korosevskis, as well as Bojars’ then-advisor Armands Zeihmanis and his wife, Vita Zeihmane.

Tenis has been charged for repeated bribe-taking in large amounts. The bribes, according to the prosecutor, were taken not only from Daimler AG group company Evo Bus, but also from other public transportation bus and trolley-bus manufacturers - Ikarus Special Coach Factory Ltd., Neoplan Polska (currently named Solaris Bus & Coach) and Ganz Transelektro Traction Electrics. Tenis is suspected of taking bribes in various currencies, but the prosecutor did not reveal the total amount taken by Tenis. She did say that bribes worth 1.09 million lats (1.4 million euros) were taken from Evo Bus.

Information received from investigators in the United States indicates that Riga City Council officials feature in three incidences of bribery in connection with the German auto manufacturer Daimler. The officials received bribes from Daimler so that it would win public transportation purchase tenders in Riga. The Daimler-manufactured Mercedes Benz public transportation buses were eventually purchased by the Riga municipal public transportation company Rigas Satiksmes. A total of 117 Mercedes Benz buses were purchased by the municipal company between 2002 and 2006.
According to case materials from the U.S., between 1998 and 2008 the German concern paid at least $56 million in bribes in 22 countries, including 5 million euros in Latvia.