Chairman: Eesti Loto has not been harmed by Kranich allegations

The chairman of state lottery Eesti Loto's supervisory board told ERR on Wednesday the company had not been harmed by the conflict of interest allegations made about the organization's former leader.

On Wednesday, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) met with the supervisory board of Eesti Loto to get an overview of the lease agreements concluded with the former head of the company and the current member of the Riigikogu Heiki Kranich.

Chairman of the Estonian Loto Council Rain Laane attended the meeting and told ERR Helme should comment on its content and not him. He also stressed that Eesti Loto has not suffered any loss from the deal undertaken by Kranich.

"As to the Eesti Loto organization, there has been no damage from the rental transaction and Estonian people are very happy to keep playing the lottery."

Helme said after the meeting he would not be suggesting than an audit should be carried out.

"It has to be investigated by the investigative authorities to determine whether the transaction was the result of someone's illegal activity. The management of Eesti Loto is fully cooperating with them," Helme said. 

Business newspaper Ärpäev last week reported a possible conflict of interest case involving a sitting MP, Reform Party's Heiki Kranich, who is the former head of state lottery Eesti Loto, and a businessman, Koit Uus, who allegedly gave a loan of close to €300,000 and whose real estate development ended up with Eesti Loto as its main tenant.

Äripäev wrote that while searching for the lease space of the Eesti Loto House, it was known that EKE Invest, a Newly Owned Company, would be financing the new development, and Koit Uus admitted to the newspaper that he had learned of the development through Kranich.

Helme said last week that he would like to get an overview of the details from the supervisory board and council of Eesti Loto. From that point on, Helme would have to decide whether the case needs special scrutiny.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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