During the investigation of possible fraud involving EU funds worth EUR 1.8 million a search was performed at private property owned by Līvāni City Council Andris Vaivods on Wednesday, 19 October.
European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is currently investigating a possible defrauding of EU funds worth EUR 1.8 million. This amount is related to projects involving manufacturing infrastructure in Līvāni. In cooperation with Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) investigative procedures both at Līvāni City Council and private property owned by the city council’s chairman, as confirmed by Latvia’s representative at EPPO, prosecutor Gatis Doniks.
The investigation has continued for longer. It has entered the stage when it is now public.
#EPPO is conducting searches in the city of Līvāni, Latvia🇱🇻, including at the mayor’s house. At stake is a possible fraud with European Regional Development Funds worth €1,8 million. Grateful for an excellent support provided by @KNABinforme
— European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) (@EUProsecutor) October 19, 2022
No official is detained and no one has been presented with official charges as of yet. The prosecutor confirmed that ‘time will tell’ if any suspects appear.
«Evidence acquired so far will have to be analysed and conclusions made. I believe we will have suspects,» said Doniks.
The search was confirmed by the mayor of Līvāni Vaivods. When asked about the search at his home, Vaivods said he knows nothing of it, as he was not there when it happened – he was at work.
According to Vaivods, the investigation may be related to actions of the previous chairman of the city council. He did not offer more comments on the matter.
KNAB confirmed having provided assistance to EPPO. However, because the process is headed by EPPO, KNAB is not at liberty to report more information.
Doniks reported that EPPO has more than 20 cases under investigation related to Latvia.
The Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFLA) told LETA that the agency is aware of the investigation and provides all necessary aid to law enforcement institutions. CFLA is unable to provide more detailed information about the project.
As previously reported, EPPO commenced practical operations on 1 June 2021. The objective is protecting European Union’s financial interests. The office is in charge of investigation, criminal prosecution and maintaining charges in court for crimes that affect EU’s financial interests.