State Security Service swings into action against suspected sanctions-busting

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Latvia's State Security Service (VDD) said December 4 that on December 3 it carried out "court-sanctioned procedural actions" (usually a way of saying "raids") involving seven persons in and around Rīga "in connection with suspicions of violation of international sanctions".

"Procedural actions were performed in criminal proceedings investigated by the VDD, which were initiated on 16 January 2020 in accordance with Section 84, Paragraph one of the Criminal Law (for violation of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, European Union and other international organizations or national sanctions imposed by the Republic of Latvia). 

"The information obtained during the investigation gives rise to suspicions of the transfer of economic resources to a person subject to European Union sanctions for actions that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," the VDD said, adding that it had "acquired a large data set, which includes data storage and documents." 

Non-custodial security measures have been applied to the persons concerned but no further details were provided.

However, the involvement of Ukraine-linked sanctions recalls a joint operation between Latvian and Estonian security services earlier this year, as reported by LSM at the time. That centered on Kremlin insider Yuri Kovalchuk, who is included in a list of people subject to EU sanctions for undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.


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