Purmalis says 50% of Ventspils port companies still have  transaction problems

Purmalis says 50% of Ventspils port companies still have transaction problems

At Ventspils Freeport at least 50% of active companies still have problems with monetary transactions, said Vetnspils Freeport CEO Andris Purmalis in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Thursday, 9 July.

“Some 50% of companies operating at Ventspils port are experiencing problems with covering their payments before banks, because banks request unreasonably strict requirements for those companies, which impedes economic operations,” said Purmalis.

At the same time, he also said people become stronger during any crisis. The same applies to Ventsils port, which has experienced multiple instances of a tsunami lately.

Purmalis noted that Ventspils port’s handled freights volume reduction for 2020 was planned in advance, because political reasons have significantly reduced the volume of coal freights handled at the port.

At the same time, he said the volume of freights remained on last year’s level and the volume of handled oil products remained largely on last year’s level. At the same time, the volume of handled metallic and agricultural products has decreased and the volume of handled wood has increased.

As previously reported, on 9 December 2019 based on the so-called Magnitsky Law the US Department of Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions against suspended Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs and four legal persons associated with him – Ventspils Freeport authority, Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association.

On 18 December 2019, OFAC announced removal of sanctions from Ventspils Freeport and Ventspils Freeport authority. Sanctions were lifted from Ventspils Freeport after Lembergs stepped down from his positions in the board of the freeport and Latvian government took measures to exclude his influence over the port.

As noted by OFAC, Lembergs is accused of money laundering, bribery and abuse of power. Lembergs controls structures using political parties and corrupt politicians, and systematically uses these structures for personal economic gain.

Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has commenced an inspection of a statement from the US Department of the Treasury’s Office for Foreign Asset Control that the suspended Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs has influenced and corrupted officials, as confirmed by the bureau.

It was also reported that Ventpils port terminals have handled 5.91 million tonnes of freights in this year’s five months, which is 41% less the same period of 2019.

Additionally, in the first five months of 2020 Ventspils port terminals handled 3.904 million tonnes of liquid freights, which is 12.1% less when compared to the year prior, 1.082 million tonnes of general freights, which is an increase of 2.1%, as well as 924 thousand tonnes of bulk freights, which is 4.9 times less than a year prior.

Freight volume-wise Ventspils port is Latvia’s second largest port.

Photo Credit : https://www.ventasbalss.lv/zinas/brivosta/40548-ventspils-osta-darbojas-ikdienas-rezima

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