State Security Service seizes 4 million dollars from sanctions breakers

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The State Security Service (VDD) said October 10, that while it was investigating a possible violation of international sanctions, it had identified criminally obtained funds worth more than 4 million US dollars. On Thursday, October 6, by a decision of the second instance court, the criminally obtained funds were confiscated for the benefit of the Latvian state.

"Criminally obtained funds were identified in the bank account of an offshore company, while the VDD was conducting investigative activities related to suspicions of violation of international sanctions and large-scale laundering of criminally obtained financial funds. The previously-mentioned process was initiated on February 5, 2018 in accordance with the second part of Article 84 and the third part of Article 195 of the Criminal Law. The information obtained during the investigation shows that more than 4 million US dollars identified in the bank account of an offshore company was obtained by a group of persons illegally supplying weapons to the armed forces of an African country against which the European Union and other international organizations have imposed sanctions," the VDD explained.

Having identified the criminally obtained funds, the VDD took the necessary measures to seize them. On August 1 of this year, the court of first instance made a decision to recognize the seized financial assets as criminal property and to confiscate them for the benefit of the state. On Thursday, October 6, the court of second instance recognized the decision of the court of first instance as justified and left it unchanged. The decision is no longer subject to appeal.

The investigation in the mentioned criminal process is still ongoing, therefore the VDD said it will refrain from further comments for the time being.

VDD is Latvia's counter-intelligence and internal security service, whose activity is focused on identifying and preventing possible threats to Latvia's national security. The main areas of activity of the VDD are counter-intelligence, protection of state secrets, protection of the constitutional system, economic security, counter-terrorism, protection of high-ranking state officials and pre-trial investigation.

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