Tet boss charged with fraud

The Latvian incumbent Tet, which is owned by the Latvian state and the Swedish telco Telia, has announced that Juris Gulbis (Chairman of Tet and former CFO), Toms Meisitis (Director of Legal) and Gintars Kavacis (CEO of Hannu Digital) have been accused of fixing a tender that saw Tet pay an inflated price for digital television equipment in 2008. The accusation is that Tet – then called Lattelecom – lost EUR7.5 million (USD9 million) as a result of buying equipment from Hannu Digital.

The accusations are linked to another corruption case dating back to the Latvian government’s decision to switch to digital TV, whereby former prime minister Andris Skele is alleged to have lent money to purchase digital TV equipment. This equipment was later acquired by Hannu Digital, who allegedly have links to Skele’s party.

Gulbis says he “categorically and completely” rejects the accusations. An independent forensic audit has now been ordered.