Polish bus maker suspected of corruption
Bribes to the tune of around 800,000 euros were allegedly paid in connection with the delivery of 175 diesel and trolley buses made by Polish company Solaris to Riga's transport company Satiksme. In the course of investigations by both the Latvian and Polish anti-corruption authorities several persons have been arrested. Are the authorities finally getting serious about tackling corruption?
A real fight against corruption
At last the authorities are tackling corruption, Neatkarīgā comments joyfully:
“For years Riga's local government has been discussing the subject of corruption. There was the construction of the South Bridge in Riga for which 50,000 million on top of what it should have cost was paid. The opposition has long talked about bribery in Riga. But unfortunately the rumours were never investigated. ... The arrest of six people and the resignation of the mayor now indicate that this time the usual excuses won't be enough. We don't know what evidence the anti-corruption authority Knab has or what evidence there is in Poland. But it's clear that this time the investigators are serious about getting results. And hopes are high that one of the arrested individuals will start to cooperate with the investigators in a bid to save their own skin.”
Authorities must be patient
Despite the difficult circumstances business daily Dienas Bizness hopes that the work of the anti-corruption authority Knab will produce results:
“It looks at last like they're serious about tackling the problem because the court is following up on the suspicions of the anti-corruption authority and has five out of six persons in custody. Moreover the case also affects Polish citizens, which is why the Latvian authorities are working with the Polish ones. We can now expect lengthy court proceedings. Lawyers and defendants will keep getting sick. But the anti-corruption authorities must not drop the case because that would destroy society's trust in this institution. Hopefully they'll be able to gather enough evidence to keep the proceedings going.”