'Suspicious' cash found in car on Lithuania-Latvia border

In February this year, customs officers of the State Revenue Service (VID) at the Latvia-Lithuania border crossing point "Grenctāle" inspected a car on its way from Lithuania to Latvia and found undeclared cash of €402,457. The Tax and Customs Police Directorate of the VID has initiated criminal proceedings, VID said on May 10.

The car bore license plates of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The vehicle was carrying a German national and a Moldovan national, who had not declared the cash and could not explain and produce the documents of origin of the cash. During the customs control, the persons were asked whether there was cash to be declared, to which both persons replied in the negative. Taking into account that it was not possible to carry out an in-depth control on the spot, it was decided to carry out the control at the Riga Freeport customs control point in Riga with the participation of a canine officer of the VID Customs Administration with a cash search dog.

Following this announcement, the German national stated that the vehicle contained cash of approximately EUR 400,000 which he wished to declare.

The undeclared cash was seized and the persons were detained. All the seized cash has been deposited in a Treasury account. The persons have been released and non-custodial measures have been taken against them.

Criminal proceedings have been initiated under the offense of alleged money laundering, if committed on a large scale, provided for in Article 195(3) of the Criminal Law.

Within the framework of the initiated criminal proceedings, and in continuation of the procedural actions, five authorized searches were carried out (four in Rīga, one in Mārupe municipality), and additional cash - EUR 102,240, USD 45,466 and banknotes in other currencies - were seized.

The VID reminded that when crossing the state border of the Republic of Latvia (both entering and leaving) in places where it is also an external border of the European Union, any person is obliged to declare EUR 10,000 or more cash.

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