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Nicolas de Chamfort
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Prime minister: Linužs’ dealings with offshore business warrants an investigation

Māris Kučinskis/flickr.com/State Chancellery.
Latvia’s Transport Minister Uldis Augulis refused to comment on information reported by De Facto programme one week ago – that Rail Baltica organized Andris Linužs had signed a deal with an offshore company based in Seychelles and used by influential businessmen from St. Petersburg. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, on the other hand, told the programme that «deals associated with state security had been recorded in the past and represent a matter that warrants an investigation».

De Facto reminds that Seychelles-based Parmas Corporation is the central figure here. This company was mentioned in two separate litigations.

Parmas Corporation was used for money transfers by Russian mining company Phosagro. Its largest shareholders include Andrei Guryev, who is Russia’s 26th wealthiest person, and Vladimir Litvinenko. The latter is also rector in St. Petersburg Mining University. He was also Vladimir Putin’s election campaign’s manager in St. Petersburg.

The agreement with the very same Parmas was signed by Andris Linužs several years ago. He is now in charge of state enterprise Eiropas dzelzceļa līnijas, which is responsible for Rail Baltica project’s realization in Latvia. Linužs had been given authority from Norvik Banka’s Malta-based fund and had given away to Seychelles-based offshore company enforcement rights for EUR 2.5 million the fund had invested in a real estate project near St. Petersburg before then, as reported by the programme.

Similar to a week ago, Linužs was too busy to find time for an interview with De Facto. He did provide written responses. However, he did not answer any direct questions. He provided no answers as to how he found the aforementioned offshore company and who were the people he signed the agreement with, LTV reports.

Linužs mentioned that he is not «an authorized figure, true beneficiary or owner» in Parmas Corporation and Phosagro.

Linužs underlined again that he personally knows Litvinenko only as a student: «I’ve never had any private dealings with him». He called De Facto’s interest about dealings with Parmas as an attempt to tie the situation with political intrigues and elections.

The prime minister said he trusts law enforcement institutions to investigate this matter.


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