Latvia police investigate link between murdered insolvency administrator and missing businessman

Latvia’s State Police have begun an investigation of a possible link between the murdered insolvency administrator Mārtiņš Bunkus and the missing businessman Andris Bojārs, as confirmed by police representative Ilze Jurēvica.

She explains that information was reported in November 2017 about Bojārs’ disappearance and a search was organized shortly after. It is also possible Bojārs is dead. Because of that, police have launched a criminal process. Investigation continues.

Jurēvica says police are aware of business relations between Bojārs and Bunkus. Considering that Bunkus’ field of expertise was very wide, police consider different versions in relation to his murder, including the possible link with Bojārs’ sudden disappearance.

According to available information, Bunkus had turned to police in 2016 with a request to check threats coming from Bojārs. Police have not confirmed this, however.

De Facto programme of LTV reports that Bojārs disappeared at the end of November 2017. He was last seen exiting his apartment in Riga, Skolas Street 20.

On 27 November, lawyer Sergejs Lukašins was appointed by court as insolvency administrator to one of Bojārs’ owned companies – AB Build. It was the last time the two spoke.

«We agreed to meet and discuss exchange of documents and assistance in the future insolvency process,» Lukašins told De Facto. After that, Bojārs stopped answering calls.

Lukašins adds that Bojārs left his home without taking his passport or the documents he was supposed to give him. It is as though he did not intend to be away longer than five minutes, adds the insolvency administrator.

Several sources have told De Facto that the reason for Bojārs’ disappearance is associated with his apartment business. He bought houses in Riga’s centre and then restored them and sold residence permits to foreigners.

Several years ago Bojārs found a partner – Russian citizen Andrej Shalyapin. Together they launched construction of a new apartment building project in Jurmala, Ceriņu Street 3. But then the two had a fight, the programme reports. They started fighting over properties through insolvency processes. Bunkus was hired to represent Shalyapin’s interests.

A lawyer from Bunkus’ law firm had asked the State Revenue Service to commence audits in businesses associated with Bojārs. The latter, however, managed to secure a disciplinary case against SRS’ chef tax supervisor Sandra Kārkliņa-Ādmine. However, no violations were found in her actions in the end, De Facto reports.

Bojārs met with Bunkus face to face at meetings of creditors of Buvnieks LV – owner of the building located on Ceriņu Street. According to information from De Facto, minutes of the meeting detail a loud debate between Bojārs and Bunkus about matters not associated with the agenda of that particular meeting.

Nevertheless, De Facto reports that the two did find a solution to their common problem at the beginning of last year. The property in Jurmala was left in the hands of Bojārs’ owned Ceriņu apartments. Several of its apartments were handed over to, which has no official ties to Bojārs’ now former partner Shalyapin. One of the lawyers close to the dispute told De Facto that the Russian investor was left with nothing. One apartment was handed over to Adelo Commerce, a beneficiary of which is Jekaterina Galuška, who works in Bunkus’ law firm.

If Bojārs and Bunkus had left the Russian businessman with nothing, it is entirely possible that the disappearance and murder are connected, De Facto claims. Police do not exclude this possibility. ‘This is one of the versions we are looking into,’ De Facto was told by State Police Criminal Police Department Chief Andrejs Grišins.

Lukašins, who was appointed as the insolvency administrator for Bojārs’ company, is also the lawyer of businessman Mihails Uļman. Bunkus had a conflict with Uļman in SIA Rego Trade insolvency case. The administrator wanted to enforce considerably amounts from Uļman and other Rego Trade managers.

Uļman also owns Latvijas Pasta banka, and Bojārs’ company has taken loans from that bank. Lukašins told De Facto that he was appointed as insolvency administrator for Bojārs’ company by sheer coincidence.

BNN reported previously that sworn attorney, insolvency administrator Mārtiņš Bunkus was shot dead in his car at 08:40 in the morning in near Brothers Cemetery in Riga, Aizsaules Street 1 on Wednesday, 30 May.

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