UAB „Vilniaus Prekyba” position in relation to the draft conclusions of the Committee of National Security and Defense of the Parliament
On 30 May, 2018 the Committee of National Security and Defense of the Parliament (Seimas) of the Republic of Lithuania prepared and presented the draft conclusions of the investigation on probable illegal influence on state authorities regarding decision-making and probable illegal influence on the political processes by persons, business subjects and other interest groups. In Reaction to this, we would like to stress, that we do not agree with the accusations made in the draft and interpretations, deriving from it. We shall cooperate with all institutions and shall seek, that all allegations are proved to be unfounded.
Three statements, related to the company and its associated persons are made in the draft conclusions.
Firstly, the draft conclusions of the investigation states, that allegedly “MG Baltic“ group using its relations in the State Tax Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – STI) has helped UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ to avoid monetary obligations, which could amount to millions of euros.
We emphasize, that neither UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“, nor its representatives have ever requested „MG Baltic“ or any other third parties to intermediate in our relationship with STI, including in the year of 2015. The company and its controlled entities run their businesses strictly following the regulations, set out by the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, always collaborate with the tax administrator and present it all the necessary information.
UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ was established on 29 March, 2011. The group, controlled by UAB “Vilniaus prekyba” is the 5th biggest tax payer in the Republic of Lithuania considering the amount of paid taxes. Over the last four years of activities, the company and its controlled entities have paid taxes to the Republic of Lithuania in the amount of EUR 860 million. Only in the year 2017, UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ and its controlled legal entities paid taxes to the Republic of Lithuania in the amount of EUR 253 million.
Since its establishment, no tax infringements have been identified for UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“. The companies, controlled by UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ fall into top ten biggest tax payers in Lithuania, therefore it is normal, that ordinary tax inspections are performed in these companies on a regular basis. We emphasize that during such tax inspections no substantial tax infringements have been identified, especially amounting to millions of euros.
We would like to stress that during the period mentioned in the draft conclusions – in the year of 2015 – one of the indirect minority shareholders of the company have made public allegations on tax evasion, that were extremely painful to the group. During the mentioned period, a lot of false information was publicly announced regarding the tax evasion of the companies controlled by the same shareholders. Seeking to deny the declared allegations, and to answer any questions which could be raised by the society, employees, business partners or shareholders of the group, the company upon its own initiative has addressed the State Tax Inspectorate with a request to perform comprehensive tax investigations of all companies, controlled by it. The announcement of these allegations caused a huge resonance in Lithuania. As a result, according to publicly available information both the State Tax Inspectorate and law enforcement institutions have evaluated activities of UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ and its controlled companies even more thoroughly. We point out, that even after making these false accusations during the period of last three years no substantial tax infringements have been identified in the company and/or its controlled entities.
Secondly, in the draft conclusions of the investigation, it is claimed that during the formation stage of “the national investor” – LEO LT, which was organized by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania over 2006-2007, shareholders and management of UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ in inadmissible ways attempted to influence politicians, public sector officials and other related parties who were opposing the project.
We would like to emphasise that UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ and its controlled companies have never invested in businesses operating in the energy industry. Additionally, UAB „Vilniaus prekyba“ and its controlled companies have not participated in the LEO LT project organized by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. However, UAB „NDX energija“, owned by the same ultimate shareholders, have invested in LEO LT. Once again, we would like to stress that neither UAB „Vilniaus prekyba”, nor the entities, controlled by it, have ever received or used any funds paid out to associated legal entities after “the national investor” was dismantled and LEO LT was liquidated.
Thirdly, in the draft conclusions of the investigation, it is claimed that at the request of the group representatives false information was deliberately spread on the web portal owned by „MG Baltic“ about the former Deputy Prosecutor General, who was temporarily in charge of the Prosecution General Office while the pre-trial investigation in relation to activities of the group was taking place in 2016.
UAB „Vilniaus prekyba” learnt about the pre-trial investigation commenced in the beginning of the year 2016, which involved certain associated parties and their management, from publicly announced information. The company was not involved in the aforementioned pre-trial investigation in any form, nor had any legal status within. All the information it disposes on the abovementioned investigation, UAB “Vilniaus prekyba” has received only from the mass media sources. UAB „Vilniaus prekyba” have still not received any information regarding this investigation, its status or its findings.
In conclusion, we would also like to emphasize that UAB „Vilniaus prekyba” has never been involved in politics in any means, has never tried to influence politicians and has always strictly followed the law. Our current objective is to dispel all doubts in relation to the activities of the company and its controlled entities, therefore, as always we are ready to fully cooperate with all institutions in all investigations, if any of those occur.