Counterterrorism team and revenue service bust tax fraud gang

The police have arrested a major gang of money launderers and tax fraud perpetrators swindling the state out of the Value-added Tax, causing losses of about €1.7m to the state budget within the past 18 months, the State Revenue Service said.

The Financial Police under the State Revenue Service in cooperation with the Omega counter-terrorism team of the Latvian State Police cracked down on the criminal gang, searching 27 locations, including the secret headquarters of the fraudsters where evidence was seized.

In addition, the authorities seized about €95,000 in cash, contraband cigarettes and firearms.

The Latvian state budget lost around €1.7 million in revenues as a result of the criminal operations of the gang from January 2016 to August 2017.

"The investigation established that the criminal group was creating transaction chains between shell companies for the purposes of tax evasion and money laundering. The gang was active in several sectors of the economy, including road haulage, wholesale of car parts and provision of security services," said Evita Teice-Mamaja, a spokeswoman for the State Revenue Service.

Altogether nine people were detained, and all have been declared suspects in the criminal case.

Investigators are not revealing any more details to protect the investigation. 

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