Average bribes in Latvia between €20 000 and €30 000, say anti-graft cops

From 2013 to 2019, the average amount of bribes offered, promised or given was between €20 000 and €30 000, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) told LETA September 22.

In these years, the largest bribe in the cases investigated by KNAB was €1 million and the smallest was €100.

The amount of the bribe depends on the complexity of the “service” provided, i.e. a more complicated case involving senior officials or providing high-risk services would be linked to a higher amount of bribe, while “simpler” services would have smaller amounts, KNAB said.

KNAB could not disclose information about the breakdown of corrupt criminal offences by city and county, as the Bureau uses this information in the planning of its daily work and activities.

The Bureau said that the largest number of possible crimes is in Rīga, given that it is Latvia’s largest municipality and holds the most important state institutions, central authorities of law enforcement and judicial authorities, leading health care and education institutions, as well as the central offices of many parties.

Compared to the situation prior to the crisis caused by COVID-19, the risks of corruption have increased in procurements involved in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, the Bureau said that so far KNAB has not identified any corrupt crimes or conflict of interest in the analysis of purchases made for crisis management purposes.

KNAB has launched 30 criminal proceedings this year, while 11 criminal proceedings have been sent to the Prosecutor’s Office.

LSM.LV

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