John Christmas was told by representatives of Parex Bank that he can “never come to Latvia anymore” as recently as 2009. The implication is that the bank is threatening to murder or arrest the whistleblower if he returns to his home. Christmas has received many similar threats from many different people since the whistleblowing. Fortunately, this threat was recorded.
Parex was owned by the Latvian government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2009. Christmas forwarded this transcript to the EBRD and they ignored it, just as they have ignored all of the other criminal information about their subsidiary.
Excerpts of the transcript and audio file are below, with commentary written by Christmas in capitals. In the beginning is a discussion between Christmas and a Latvian friend about his apartment. Even though Christmas is a Latvian citizen and this apartment is his home, he has not been there since 2005 because of repeated terror threats from Parex and absolute refusal by the Latvian State Police to investigate.
The threats are in boldface and appear toward the end of the transcript.
PHONE CALL RECORDED 22 JULY 2009
THE CONVERSATION LASTED APPROXIMATELY 1 HOUR AND COVERED MANY TOPICS. THIS IS A SEGMENT OF APPROXIMATELY 14 MINUTES BUILDING UP TO A CRIMINAL THREAT FROM PAREX AT THE END.
John: Actually I have stories about what’s happening in Latvia also about this with Daiga and with the apartment and la, la, la, la, la. I am kind of mad at Daiga also.
XXXX: What’s happening? You are kicking Daiga out of the apartment?
John: Well no, Daiga is leaving… Daiga says that she will just leave the apartment soon and she says that… I guess she will just give keys to YYYY’s relatives.
XXXX IS A CLOSE FRIEND. DAIGA JONISKANE IS MY FORMER LAWYER AND HER NAME APPEARED IN OTHER EMAILS. DAIGA WAS LIVING IN MY HOME. THE REASON WHY DAIGA LIVED THERE, AND NOT ME, IS BECAUSE I WAS CHASED OUT OF LATVIA WITH THREATS AFTER BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON PAREX BANK IN 2005. YYYY IS MY EX-GIRLFRIEND. OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS RUINED BECAUSE SHE WAS TERRIFIED (AND I WAS ALSO TERRIFIED) BY THE PAREX THREATS.
XXXX: But she told that you are giving the apartment to YYYY.
John: Well, I am not giving it to her. No. It still is gonna be mine, but Daiga needs to give these keys to somebody so I think she will give… YYYY has lots of relatives in Kuldiga. She has twenty relatives in Kuldiga. So I think that one of these relatives will get these keys.
XXXX: You should rent it out – the apartment.
John: Well, I don’t know. How much rent do you think I can get for that apartment? Like, 20 lats?
XXXX: No, no. I think that maybe at least 60 lats you can get. At least it will cover all the bills.
John: Well ya. That’s one problem now is I still need to pay all of the heating and electric and everything I need to pay.
XXXX: And why Daiga will not pay for this?
John: With Daiga it was sort of part of her deal with how she used to be my employee and I made this friendly deal with her that the last thing she did for me was… Actually, she did two things for me in the past two years because each year she needed to sign my tax declaration. And then I know that I don’t have to pay her so much to sign my tax declaration, but anyway there was like a couple other things, well there was one thing she was supposed to do and she is being lazy about it. So that is kind of why I am unhappy with her now is because she is being lazy about one thing that she was supposed to do this month. But anyway, I think what’s gonna happen is I think that Daiga’s gonna leave next month and I think she is gonna give the key to YYYY’s parents or YYYY’s cousins and then it still will be my apartment. I still will own it. Except I don’t know who will be staying in there.
XXXX: You should try to rent it out.
John: Do you know some tenants? Who will pay all of the bills and I can trust them?
XXXX: No. I don’t know. I don’t know. But I can try to look for it. Maybe if Daiga will leave, I can sleep one night there if I go for a weekend to Kuldiga.
John: One thing about the apartment, by the way, is that a lot of my things are in there still, so I don’t want to rent it to a stranger. I would be happy if a good friend, like what I was telling you, XXXX, I was telling you in the winter already, was my idea in the beginning was maybe you would help me with the apartment, but then… but now what I have been telling is something different, so now what I have been telling is that someone from YYYY’s family will have the keys for this apartment. Because it sounded like you weren’t very interested in it. Because I don’t know what will happen. If it will be empty or somebody wants to live in it. I don’t know. I think there is one cousin from YYYY who wants to live in it. And I told YYYY that she can talk with one cousin and if this cousin wants to live there, but I think this cousin would not pay rent. I think the cousin would pay the gas and the electric. But there wouldn’t be any rent.
XXXX: Yes, and then this cousin probably will damage something, because you know it’s quite new renovated and Daiga keeps it really good because I’ve been there and there are no damages. But if some other person, I don’t know, if you should do it really. At least you should get money for it. To give the apartment for free to some person who is a relative… Daiga…
John: Well I’ll tell you what’s difficult for me. What would be a problem for me. Is this getting 60 lats every month is not very important to me. So, if I get 60 lats, it’s like something but it’s not such a big thing. But what’s more important to me is I just want the apartment to be safe, I don’t want anything stolen, I don’t want it to be damaged. I also don’t want to be in some situation where somebody is a tenant and they don’t pay rent and then they don’t leave and I need to go to court. You remember with Mezaparks I needed to go to court for five years to get… There was somebody who was not paying rent for five years it took in court to make them go.
XXXX: Well you just don’t let anyone in… and pay for it… it’s not that big… and then if some of your friends visit Latvia, you can suggest them to go to Kuldiga and stay in your home.
John: Yeah. But somebody needs to look at the apartment sometimes. I think the key is… I think that Daiga will give the key to YYYY’s mom, and then…
XXXX: She will give the keys to YYYY’s mom. And they live close to the apartment. So they can come over every month, or twice a month, and check if everything is fine.
John: Yep. So that’s what will happen. YYYY’s relatives will have this key and they will check if something is happening. But they won’t pay me any rent. But it’s okay because I don’t care about this rent.
XXXX: Absolutely, but I don’t think that someone will live there…
John: I don’t know, because YYYY has a lot of cousins. YYYY has like twenty cousins.
XXXX: Well maybe they will let someone to live there and they will not tell you about it.
John: They will get rents and they will keep the rents and they will not tell me.
XXXX: Very possible. And you will never find out about it.
John: It’s possible.
XXXX: It’s possible especially now in Crisis they need money and it’s very possible.
John: But you know with the Crisis… People before the Crisis were telling me that rent in Kuldiga was maybe 60 lats. But now if it’s after the Crisis, I think that rent in Kuldiga is like 2 lats.
XXXX: Go to a… I don’t know really. I have a co-worker who lives in Kuldiga. I can ask her.
John: You know, of course you are the one who fixed my apartment, so you can tell her what it’s like: 2 bedroom apartment, nice renovation. And ask her how much does she think someone will pay for living there.
XXXX: I can ask her.
John: Yeah, well tell me if you learn something interesting about that, but what I think is going to happen now is that Daiga will go in August and I think she will give the keys to YYYY’s parents or YYYY’s cousins.
START SOUND SAMPLE HERE
XXXX: Where will she go?
John: Daiga? I don’t know because I am mad at Daiga and I actually don’t care where she goes. I am just happy that she…
XXXX: What did she do again?
John: I am still just mad about this whole Parex thing because she was my witness for that and then she was afraid to talk, it means that I can’t come to my country anymore. I will be angry at Daiga for my whole life about this. I think she is a dishonest person.
MY MAY 2005 WHISTLEBLOWING LETTER TO THE GENERAL PROSECUTOR WAS ABOUT DETAILED MATERIAL ACCOUNTING FRAUDS. THESE FRAUDS SHOULD HAVE BEEN EASILY PROVABLE BY THE PROSECUTOR OR THE REGULATOR OR THE AUDITOR, ALL OF WHICH I NOW UNDERSTAND TO BE CORRUPT. DAIGA WAS NOT WITNESS TO THE ACCOUNTING FRAUDS. RATHER, SHE WAS WITNESS TO CORRUPTION IN THE PROSECUTORS OFFICE.
XXXX: You were saying that this ZZZZ is crazy but I think you are also crazy. You are talking that Daiga is guilty of everything but it’s not true.
John: Well she is. She is a witness and I need a witness and she refuses to talk because she is scared and then she makes a lot of problems for me.
XXXX: No she didn’t make any problems for you. You have a lot of witnesses besides her. You have to look at everyone else, even me.
John: With Daiga, I was always nice to her. Always it was she wants something from me, she wants something from me, she wants something from me. But then there was one time in my life when I needed something from her and she said “no.” So that’s what I remember about Daiga and I am not happy about that.
IN AUGUST 2005, DAIGA TOLD ME THAT HER BEST FRIEND FROM THE PROSECUTORS OFFICE SAID THAT THEY HAD BEEN EXTORTING PROTECTION MONEY FROM PAREX. OBVIOUSLY, I DID NOT ASK DAIGA TO REPEAT THIS STORY TO THE PROSECUTORS OFFICE SINCE THEY WERE THE GUILTY PARTY. RATHER, I ASKED HER IF SHE WOULD RETELL THE INFORMATION TO A LATVIAN ANTI-CORRUPTION BODY (KNAB OR SAB) OR TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY (FBI). I SAID IT WAS AN URGENT MATTER OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE BECAUSE OF THE SIZE OF THE FRAUD RELATIVE TO THE SIZE OF THE ECONOMY AND THAT SHE COULD TALK TO THE FBI WITHOUT ANYONE IN LATVIA EVER KNOWING. INITIALLY, DAIGA WAS SCREAMING AND CRYING THAT PAREX WOULD KILL HER AND HER FAMILY. LATER, SHE WENT INTO DENIAL AND CLAIMED THAT I IMAGINED EVERYTHING, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE ACCUSATIONS.
XXXX: You should remember some good things about her. She went to court. And she helped you with the fight with these British people and you should thank her that you got to your millions later. It was a big part of her… what she did… you should remember also this.
John: Well, there were strange things that happened in that also. She was very friendly having lunches with these people while they were making threats to me. I didn’t like some of the things that she was doing.
XXXX: This is a lawyer. This is a lawyer’s job. Lawyers should be like this for everyone…. They are the players. It’s their job to be players.
John: Well, anyway, no. I am still mad at Daiga.
XXXX: She was meeting with them and she was negotiating with them, and later they agreed and accepted to buy this land.
John: But there was a problem because all of it should have been finished much sooner because all the facts were on my side and I should have won this court case. And there was even one time when Daiga went to court representing me that she did the opposite thing from what I told her to do when she went to court. And I know that the other people are all corrupt, and I know that she is friends with them and going to lunch with them, and then if she goes to court and she does the opposite thing from what I asked her to do, then what am I supposed to think from that? Maybe she goes to these lunches and they give her bribes or something.
XXXX: She is not taking bribes. She was going to lunch because she wanted to find out what they were doing and what was really going on. And you never will find out what is really going on if you refuse to talk to people. You still should pretend… communicate with them, and this is the normal way to find out what is really going on.
John: I don’t want to talk about it because I… When I start thinking about Daiga and Parex and Baltic Business Park then I get angry with all those people, so I don’t even what to talk about it.
XXXX: You shouldn’t get angry because you got it sold for a really good price. And I am not sure if you would manage just with yourself and without her. She has been working for you for so many years and I think that you should appreciate it.
John: No. Because there was, like, for little things she was doing okay with little things but then when there was something big and important then suddenly she disappeared and she made big problems for my whole life from that.
XXXX: She also (??????)… It could be… It could be a really big problem for all her life if she would go and tell something and then Parex would kill her and all her family, and do something bad for her kid. You know, a mother is ready for everything to protect her kid.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NOTHING UNUSUAL ABOUT THE ABOVE COMMENT. MANY LATVIAN PEOPLE HAVE TOLD ME THAT PAREX WILL KILL ME AND DAIGA AND ALL OF OUR RELATIVES.
John: Yeah, but the thing is what Daiga says now, that’s what she was saying in the beginning, but what she says now is she says the opposite thing, she says “Oh John, you are crazy, you imagined everything and you are completely crazy.” And then what am I suppose to think then. Is she like… One week she calls and tells me one thing and a different week she tells me the opposite thing. And then telling me that I’m crazy but I’m not crazy if she is telling her opposite… I don’t want to talk about it anyway.
XXXX: Okay, but you know even your mom thinks that you should stop doing this thing. You should stop with Parex. I also think that. It’s too crazy.
INTERESTING CONCEPT THAT I COULD “STOP” AFTER BLOWING THE WHISTLE. ONCE THE WHISTLE IS BLOWN, IT HAS BEEN DONE AND THIS ACTION CANNOT BE REVERSED. ANYWAY, I DON’T REGRET BLOWING THE WHISTLE, I JUST WISH THAT I WAS MORE AGGRESSIVE ABOUT GIVING MORE INFORMATION FASTER TO MORE INSTITUTIONS AND THEN PERHAPS LATVIA COULD HAVE HAD A SMALL CRISIS IN 2005 INSTEAD OF A GIGANTIC CRISIS IN 2009.
John: But what could I do? I left the country already. So I left and I can never come back again. So it’s like my country but I can never go back again.
XXXX: Yeah but it’s your fault that you started this fight. It is not you who should fight.
LATVIAN PEOPLE OFTEN TELL ME THAT IT IS “MY FAULT” THAT I OBEYED THE LAW BY BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON PAREX WHEN I LEARNED OF MATERIAL FRAUDS THAT THREATENED THE ENTIRE ECONOMY. I ASKED DAIGA ONCE IF WHISTLEBLOWING WAS ILLEGAL. SHE SAID THAT BY LAW IT IS NOT ONLY NOT ILLEGAL, BUT IT IS COMPULSORY. HOWEVER SHE SAID THAT LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO PAREX.
XXXX: You can never do anything against these people. They all are corrupted. You can never do anything by yourself.
WHEN I BLEW THE WHISTLE, I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I WAS WORKING “BY MYSELF” SINCE SO MANY PEOPLE COMPLAINED TO ME ABOUT HOW DISGUSTING PAREX WAS (REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, ERNST AND YOUNG, LATVIAN STATE POLICE, BANK OF LATVIA, AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE). WHILE I WAS AT PAREX, I FELT THAT I WAS BEING ENCOURAGED TO BLOW THE WHISTLE. THE SHOCK TO ME WAS THAT SUDDENLY I REALLY WAS “BY MYSELF” BECAUSE THESE ORGANIZATIONS CHOSE TO TURN AROUND THE OTHER WAY AS SOON AS I PROVIDED THE FRAUD EVIDENCE AND START TO DEFEND PAREX WHILE I GOT EXILED AND TERRORIZED!
XXXX: In Marbella, I met a few people who used to work for Parex. And they heard about you, and they told me “we don’t want to talk about this person but the only thing we can say is he will never be able to come back to Latvia anymore.”
I SAW XXXX ON 23 JUNE 2009 IN MARBELLA, SPAIN. I HAVE BEEN PASSING A LOT OF TIME IN MARBELLA SINCE BEING EJECTED FROM LATVIA AND SOME OF THE WORST CRIMINAL THREATS THAT I RECEIVED FROM PAREX WERE WHILE I WAS IN SPAIN. FROM ROUGHLY JUNE 20 UNTIL JUNE 24, XXXX WAS STAYING IN MARBELLA (NOT WITH ME) AND WAS SOCIALIZING WITH LATVIANS, AT LEAST ONE OF WHOM IS A FAMOUS FORMER-KGB “BUSINESS” PERSON.
John: Well, yeah. It is a very sad thing that happened in Latvia with all of this corruption, but anyway Daiga is part of it… people like Daiga, who even if she isn’t one of the criminals herself, she is dishonest because she tells lies to protect the criminals. And the result is a disaster. The result is that Latvia has the worst economy in Europe and that’s how it is now.
XXXX: She never saw… She couldn’t prove that Parex was criminal.
John: There were different things. There were some things about Baltic Business Park also. And there were some…
XXXX: Which things? John, John, she never saw anything herself. She just heard this friend told her something that friend told her something. But she never saw anything herself. How can she go and start talking. It is the same if you will tell me that, I don’t know, if you tell me that some of your friends killed someone, I can’t go to court and say it is true because I don’t know.
DAIGA IS WITNESS AND SHE COULD HAVE MADE A SAFE CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF HER COUNTRY IF SHE TOLD WHAT SHE KNEW TO THE FBI. HER BEST FRIEND ANTRA GIPSLE IS ONE OF THE CENTRAL CRIMINALS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT IS GOING ON. THIS FRIEND, WHO WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LATVIAN PROSECUTORS OFFICE, TOLD DAIGA THAT THEY RUN A RACKET OF EXTORTING CASH FROM BANKS IN LIEU OF PROSECUTION FOR MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMES. THE STORY WAS VERY SPECIFIC. I BLEW THE WHISTLE TO THE PROSECUTORS IN MAY 2005. IN AUGUST 2005, ANTRA TOLD DAIGA THAT THE PROSECUTORS HAD JUST FINISHED EXTORTING BRIBES FROM PAREX BY THREATENING TO PROSECUTE PAREX FOR MONEY LAUNDERING. PAREX PAID. ANTRA SAID THAT THE PROSECUTORS WERE WORKING AT THAT TIME TO EXTORT BRIBES FROM AIZKRAUKLES BANK FOR THE SAME THING AND AIZKRAUKLES WAS REFUSING TO PAY. ANTRA SAID THAT, THEREFORE, AIZKRAUKLES BANK WOULD GET PROSECUTED. IN OCTOBER 2005, AIZKRAUKLES ANNOUNCED A GIFT OF A MILLION LATS TO A GOVERNMENT PROJECT ORGANIZED BY HELENA DEMAKOVA, A POLITICIAN KNOWN TO BE PART OF THE INNER CIRCLE OF CORRUPTION DETAILED IN TIESASHANAS KA KEKIS (WITH SKELE AND KARGIN AND THE PROSECUTORS). THE PROSECUTORS ABSOLUTELY REFUSED TO INVESTIGATE ANYTHING. THEN, ANTRA GOT TRANSFERRED TO THE LATVIAN STATE POLICE HOMICIDE DIVISION. WHEN I COMPLAINED ABOUT THE MURDER AND MURDER THREAT INFORMATION THAT I RECEIVED FROM JEKATERINA ECINA IN FEBRUARY 2006, THE LATVIAN STATE POLICE REFUSED TO INVESTIGATE. MANY OF THE DEPOSITS BEING WITHDRAWN FROM PAREX TODAY ARE BEING RE-DEPOSITED AT AIZKRAUKLES. ANTRA HAS SINCE QUIT AND MOVED TO DENMARK, TELLING FRIENDS THAT SHE LEFT BECAUSE THE LATVIAN STATE POLICE ARE CRIMINALS.
John: Well anyway I don’t want to talk about it because if I start talking about these things then it makes me unhappy, then it’s hard for me to sleep. I just don’t want to talk about these things. You know I tried to get out of Latvia and make a new life outside of Latvia and that’s nice.
XXXX: But at the same time you hold a Latvian passport.
John: But when I got the Latvian passport, I didn’t know that the Latvian government was all working for the KGB. It’s a different thing. I thought when I got the Latvian passport… I thought that Latvia was going to be a normal country like other European countries.
END SOUND SAMPLE HERE