Eight detained for attempted EU funds fraud

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The State Police have detained eight persons suspected of attempting to defraud European Union funds for rural development worth €2.5 million, the police said on April 28.

The police reported that officials from the State Police's Office for Combating Economic Crimes in cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday, April 26, carried out procedural activities in a number of locations in the Zemgale region, detaining eight persons and carrying out a number of searches in criminal proceedings that have been launched in a suspected attempt to defraud European Union funds for rural development of EUR 2.5 million.

Several bogus procurement procedures are suspected, and the information obtained so far indicates a possible prior agreement between several contractors and a building company on the construction of new infrastructure for the funds of European Union funds.

An investigation carried out by the State Police shall take place in criminal proceedings which have been initiated for fraud if it has been committed to a large extent or if it has been carried out by an organized group. For such an infringement, persons may be punished by deprivation of liberty for a period of two to ten years, confiscating property, or probation for a period of up to three years.

On Thursday, April 27, all detainees have the status of a suspect.

Investigations are continuing in criminal proceedings and the State Police are currently refraining from more extensive comments.

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