Head of Riga's troubled transport company replaced

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-06 03:55:05|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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RIGA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The acting head of Rigas Satiksme, the troubled municipal transport company of the Latvian capital city which is being probed for several allegedly corruptive procurement deals, had to be replaced, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs announced here on Tuesday.

Ernests Saulitis, head of the Riga City Council's Real Estate Office, was appointed acting CEO of Rigas Satiksme after Anrijs Matiss announced on public radio earlier on Tuesday that he was quitting as the transport company's interim head.

The Riga mayor called Matiss' decision emotional, saying that he had learned about it from the radio interview. Usakovs said he had accepted Matiss' resignation.

On March 1, the City Council approved a 130 million euros subsidy for Rigas Satiksme, while Matiss had sought 136 million euros to keep the company afloat.

Although opposition members of Riga City Council have been raising alarm bells over the large subsidies allocated to Rigas Satiksme each year, the situation in the transport company has grown really serious in recent months after the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau started investigating an allegedly corruptive deal concluded between Rigas Satiksme's former managers, City Council officials and Polish and Czech companies supplying passenger vehicles to the Riga municipal transport company.

Six suspects in Latvia and two in Poland have been detained and anti-graft operatives have searched the Riga mayor's office and residence as part of the ongoing probe. (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollars)