“You will get to know everything after the tax inspection investigation. Bank transfers cannot be hidden. If it was cash transfers, they would be possible to falsify, but bank transfers cannot. The money for car rent were paid every month without exception, there’s no crime here,” assured Peasant and Greens Union leader Ramūnas Karbauskis, commenting on the scandalous story of Agrokoncernas car renting. He states he is unable to tell and even does not know how much was paid to be for the car rent, but assures that the agreement was profitable. On this and the State Tax Inspection investigation, which according to Karbauskis will answer all the questions left for the public – an interview on the LRT Television show Dėmesio Centre on January 17.
– Mister Karbauskis, why was the Range Rover used by current member of Seimas Greta Kildišienė purchased by Agrokoncernas?
It did not purchase it. An individual purchased it under a lease agreement.
– However the vehicle belongs to Agrokoncernas?
The lease has not ended, it belongs to the company which sold it through lease. It is normal practice.
– Why did you choose this specific model? Why did Agrokoncernas purchase a car just so that it could be rented to the relatives of Greta Kildišienė?
I can say that it is normal practice used everywhere. We have used lease in innumerable situations, offered credit and such. That’s business that is how money is made.
– Agrokoncernas representatives confirmed to the 15min.lt portal that leasing is not usual company practice and this is an exception.
It is not a dominant branch of activity, but there are many such deals in our group. I expect that the State Tax Inspection (VMI) investigation will show this.
– It is unclear whether the VMI started the investigation, but your company could have been evading taxes. By purchasing the property under the name of the company, it included the vehicle purchase into its expenses, reducing income tax, even though the property is used by an individual unrelated to the company. Is that not the case?
I’m sorry, but it is normal practice when property is sold on lease. It is purchased and after calculating interest – sold to someone. Wealth becomes property when the person concludes repaying.
– How much were you, that is Agrokoncernas, paid every month by the relative of G. Kildišienė who you are concealing now?
I cannot provide such information, furthermore I do not know exact data.
– You could find this out in five minutes.
I believe that information on private individual and private company relations is not public.
– You do not need to reveal the name, but bring out the internet banking transfer transcript which would show that the person was making payments.
Payments are being made every month for almost a year according to the contract. I was informed that everything was in order with the payments. VMI can soon perform their investigation, no problem.
– So the car was paid for by bank transfer?
– Can you show those transfers to the public?
The tax inspection will see it. Do I have to show you? What am I? I am a member of Seimas.
– You are also a co-owner of the company. You have the right and capacity to request information.
Money was paid by bank transfer for the car for 11 months. There is no need to manufacture a crime. This is an obvious attack against me, not even against my fellow member of Seimas. VMI has to answer the question of whether there was any tax evasion. If they find none, this story will turn into a farce.
– I do not know who is attacking you. There is no need to create dubious financial schemes and no-one will attack. Is that not it?
Do you lease a car?
– Yes, from a leasing company. I would not even get the thought of contacting a company which deals in agricultural produce for car lease.
We lend in various ways. That is business, you profit from it. You are trying to tell me that business is unfair. Once again let me repeat – the tax inspection will answer all those questions.
– I am not trying to accuse anyone, I am asking. There are suspicions that this agreement is a pretence because the benefactor is Greta Kildišienė. Where do the uncles, moms and aunts come from? Now there are public talks of renting by G. Kildišienė‘s mother, who likely does not have sufficient income to rent a 40 thousand euro car. What is going on?
You are stating things that still need reviewing. Accusations can be done after the tax inspection confirms that the person was unable to pay such a sum because they did not have that much declared income. Everything is done via official transfers.
– We aren’t speaking about the uncle or the mother. Do you agree that G. Kildišienė constantly drove that car?
Don’t ask me. Ask the member of Seimas about her relations with her relatives. This has nothing to do with me. What I care about is something else – whether there was a crime here, whether tax evasion happened and such. Since there was no breach of public and private interest, we are awaiting the VMI investigation which would show whether Agrokoncernas benefitted and whether the one to rent the car did so under normal Lithuanian conditions.
– But why do you not show the transfers? You say it would be a breach of privacy. Just cover up the name and show the payments, most everything will come clear. Now you are just talking and somehow the public has to blindly trust you.
You do not have to trust me. Trust in the tax inspection which will perform the investigation.
– You told the tax inspection to perform it? Perhaps it will do nothing?
There was a request and I heard it in the public that such an investigation will happen. As the owner of the company I request that such an investigation is performed and that any and all doubts about tax evasion and that the person who rented the car had the right and funds to do so would be dissipated. I cannot understand where the problem lies. Is it a problem that the company leases out a car to someone? The company has the right to.
– Mister Karbauskis, there could be many problems. You are just talking for now and proving nothing.
The way you speak shows that you suspect I am lying. That is unbecoming. I tell everyone that payments were made for 11 months, there were no issues with them.
– Why did G. Kildišienė not lease it herself? Why did relatives do so? Why did you create such a dubious scheme?
Why did I create it? The person who could declare income purchased.
– You tried to ignore the fact that Kildišienė would drive it herself and signed a contract with a person who could show the origin of the funds?
I said that the other party in the contract declares the funds because they make the transfers. It is done legally.
– Why does the person lease a car they do not use?
Why do you say so?
– Because it is not the mother, if she leased it at all, but the daughter that uses the car.
What are you accusing me of then? You will find out everything through the tax inspection investigation. The bank transfers cannot be falsified. If it was cash transfers it would be possible, but not with bank transfers.
– Is it normal that a member of Seimas is using an Agrokoncernas car? Is it normal practice in your opinion? Furthermore you are not saying how much the relatives of the member of Seimas paid for the lease.
You will find that out from the tax inspection.
– What does the tax inspection have to do with this?
I apologise, but if every journalist could demand for information from every private company for every private individual we would have a peculiar situation in Lithuania. We could blackmail all private individuals that is journalists could. This is why we have institutions, there is legislation for everything. You understand well that the member of Seimas does not have to declare that which she does not have to declare. Thus concluded the Chief Official Ethics Commission.
– It has not said anything, it has not even had a hearing. It was said by the commission chairman who rushed to your defence. The commission will gather on Wednesday and who knows what will happen.
The exact same thing.
– I am not inquiring any private companies. You and G. Kildišienė are members of Seimas. Thus I am asking you as members of Seimas, not as private individuals or businesspeople – how much is being paid to Agrokoncernas for the car used by the member of Seimas? Can I ask how much it costs?
The tax inspection will make its conclusions and you will find out. I cannot provide information on a private agreement. You are asking me to break a law here, but I will not. I do not have that information, I do not work in the company.
– You do not know how much that relative pays your company? You did not look into it within several days?
Do you imagine that with 1.5 thousand vehicles in Agrokoncernas I should know what is written in every agreement?
– In this case you likely know because it is a fairly large political crisis and you, as a politics professional, likely know all the details.
This is no political crisis. It is a question that needs looking into. The situation is being blown up out of proportion. We need to wait for the tax inspection investigation and answer, but you do not want to wait and accuse me of potentially lying
– Any person can lie, there is such a possibility until the person presents proof.
I am not obliged to present proof to you.
– You do not have to present proof to anyone until you are perhaps prosecuted. But is this the political transparency you were talking about during the elections? Or about how you would leave things to formal institutional investigations? That if doubts arose you would be unable to present clear answers to the public? Mister Karbauskis, cover the names in the transfers and present the sums.
You are a journalist and you have to understand that I cannot just take information from a private company and bring to you.
– You can ask your deputy Greta Kildišienė to ask her mother how much she pays R. Karbauskis’ company for the car. If not the markets, this is a bribe from Agrokoncernas to a member of Seimas. That is a case of corruption.
There is no corruption here. Perhaps the member of Seimas made a mistake that she does not currently have her own car, didn’t buy it after selling her previous one. But today she is being accused of something she cannot be accused of. The accusations would only be possible if the tax inspection said that even one euro was not paid in tax, that there was no profit and such. I am saying what I know well – profits are obtained, that is done in all companies.
– It could be, but this needs proving. It could also be that the agreement was signed under market price and this could be seen as a bribe to a politician. I am asking you, but you are not presenting any answers.
I gave you an answer, which was given to me by the company. The agreement is profitable to the company. This is what the tax inspection will find as well. If I presented you with the number paid per month, you would still not see whether it is a profitable deal or not. The data is with the company. If the tax inspection does its investigation quickly, at the end of the week or next week we will have all the answers and attempts to paint me as a liar or cheat will cease. It is unpleasant to hear.
– You could have presented the answers to the public long ago. But you did not.
Immediately after the Seimas elections I began hearing in every show that I am to blame for something. The attack is directed at me. If you were to hear from the tax inspection that there have been no breaches, what will you tell me then?
– Nothing. Thank you, we have our answers, all is well. But for now you do not present them. Does the car you drive belong to you or Agrokoncernas?
The car is my own.
– When did you obtain it?
Fairly recently, maybe a week or two ago. The car I drove previously was declared as per law because when you have relations with a company and not some relative, you have to declare.
– Describe your relations with Greta Kildišienė.
Work relations. What did you want to hear? I have been hearing attempts to pair me with various women for 15 years. I know why this is happening. 20 years ago I decided that my family will be inaccessible to the news media. And now this is done either out of revenge or because I do not have my wife and children at my side and that supposedly I could have some sort of relations. I am married, I am a man of the family and I do not plan on getting divorced. My whole family supports me greatly. The family is experiencing a difficult time. But it is even harder on the family of Greta Kildišienė because there are claims of her having done something bad. I am gladdened by the conclusion that there were no breaches in the declaration. When the tax inspection results come in that there were no breaches, then a different question will arise – are commercial relations, income, which company profits by providing a service, is that some sort of relations? I believe relations are when houses and cars are gifted. I have not gifted or given anyone anything.
– Has Greta Kildišienė visited your home in 2016?
What home of mine?
– Has she visited your place?
No. Greta Kildišienė has not visited my home.
– Have you spoken with your wife about this scandal? How does she view this story?
She can see the news articles, reads them. I am greatly supported by her in this situation because she knows well who I am and what my values are. My family respect and support one another.
Many people live like my family. There are men who do long haul truck driving, sail ships and such. There are many such families, but not all of them manage to respect one another in situations such as mine. I can calm you, my family has no complaints toward me because all the accusations are unfounded.
– Why were the company and Greta Kildišienė in her divorce represented by the same lawyer? You are doing good deeds for her. Why?
I have given aid to many people, I can prove it. As for this case there was no free aid.
– How so? You introduce G. Kildišienė to a good business lawyer who suddenly becomes a divorce lawyer specifically in her divorce case?
It is amusing to listen to you. Is recommending a lawyer an issue? Have you never recommended your lawyer to someone else?
– I have no lawyer.
My apologies, neither do I. But I had come into contact with that lawyer.
– You could only trust him to represent G. Kildišienė?
That is none of my business. He did not represent me in that case. He chooses his clients and cases himself. Probably the lawyer gets paid for his services. So ask him, ask G. Kildišienė. Why are you asking me?