Revenue Service raids Catholic churches in Latvia

The State Revenue Service (VID) has raided several Catholic churches, announced the Roman Catholic Church in Latvia on June 11.

The raids took place on June 5 and were associated with suspicions of inappropriate use of church donations. The church explained that it is cooperating with VID to clarify the circumstances of the proposed investigation. The church provided VID with the information necessary for the case, it said.

No arrests were made during the investigation process. The church stated that one of the motives of the raid was a purchase of a car made more than five years ago. A more substantial announcement related to the VID case is to follow in the near future, after the circumstances have been clarified.

The LETA agency had previously reported that VID raided the Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Rīga. Upon inquiry from LETA, VID refused to confirm whether it had raided the church.

According to unofficial information acquired by Latvian Television, a Catholic priest is suspected of having spent at least 20 000 euro of money donated to the church to buy a car, which he registered in his own name.

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