Company offering tours in Crimea searched by Security Police

The Latvian Security Police has searched the offices of a company that had offered services related to tourism in Crimea and Sevastopol. 

The search was carried out as part of a criminal procedure that was started for breaching the European Union ruling that prohibits legal entities and individuals from engaging in activities related to tourism in Crimea and Sevastopol.

The searches, authorized by court, were carried out in two branches of the company, located in Riga.

Proceedings were started against two persons. The maximum sentence is a five year arrest, community service, or a fine.

The name of the company is withheld by the authorities, but the branches searched seem to belong to LLC "Mkbc Tour", which, according to Firmas.lv, started operating in 2008 and saw profits of 3201 euro last year. The company is owned by Rita Silova and Viktors Sazonovs.

The tourism agency told Latvijas Televīzija (Television of Latvia) that Security Police arrived at both branches on June 19 and confiscated several documents that were related to planning tours to Crimea.

An employee at the company said that a Russian citizen, along with a World War II veteran went to Crimea to visit boarding-houses and sanatoriums for a few weeks. The interviewed travel agent told Latvijas Televīzija that the company had no knowledge about the ban and will not offer such services in the future. She also said that the destination of tours was described to be Crimea as a part of Russia.

Eleonora Ivanova, a travel agent for the company, later told LETA that the number of people who bought trips to Crimea from this company in May and June was actually four.

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