In 2020, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) initiated 39 criminal proceedings and proposed the initiation of prosecution against 41 persons in 23 criminal proceedings. Similarly, the Bureau initiated 222 administrative proceedings and requested public officials, political parties and alliances thereof, as well as legal and natural persons, to repay EUR 232 456 damages to the State.
Mr. Jēkabs Straume, the Director of KNAB: “The pandemic changed our daily lives. Yet it did not stop the fight against corruption in Latvia. The most commonly investigated criminal offences last year were related to bribery and money-laundering, the discovery of which is especially important to Latvia. It should also not be understated that, last year KNAB sent for prosecution two cases on the bribery of foreign public officials in the interests of legal persons registered in Latvia. Work on preventing and combating corruption was intense in 2020, and it will continue going forth, as corruption still remains the dark shadow of Latvia.”
In 2020, KNAB initiated 39 criminal proceedings, and most of them (15) were related to the unlawful actions in institutions of a public person. Most investigated criminal offences (23%) were related to bribery, money-laundering (15%) and use of official position in bad faith (15%).
Furthermore, KNAB sent 23 criminal proceedings to the Prosecutor’s Office, proposing the initiation of prosecution against 39 natural and 2 legal persons. The cases sent for prosecution were most commonly related to alleged criminal offences in the activities of law enforcement agencies and institutions of a public person. The most commonly investigated offences in the criminal proceedings sent to the Prosecutor’s office were related to forging official documents and giving of bribes – 18% and 17% respectively.
In 2020, the Bureau initiated 179 administrative proceedings for alleged non-compliance with the restrictions of the “Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials” and took 223 decisions. Unlawful actions with the resources and property of a public person by public officials was found in nearly a third of the cases. KNAB also found unauthorized combining of offices and conflict of interest in the activities of 147 officials, imposing a total of EUR 16 640 fines thereon. Last year KNAB also requested the repayment of EUR 41 276.32 euros in administrative proceedings to reimburse the losses incurred as a result of unlawful activities of public officials.
KNAB additionally initiated 43 administrative proceedings on alleged violations of restrictions on pre-election campaigning and financing of political parties, imposing a total of EUR 5 865 fine on political parties, alliances thereof, as well as natural and legal persons. To reimburse losses to the State incurred as a result of the aforementioned administrative violations, KNAB requested the repayment of EUR 1919 180.98.