Tax officials arrested on suspicion of operating excise racket

The Internal Security Department of the State Revenue Service (VID) in cooperation with other structural units and the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has detained five officials of VID Tax Compliance Incentive Department and three individuals, the LETA newswire reports.

The VID officials and individuals have been detained on suspicion of abuse of authority, forgery of documents, illegal circulation of excise goods on a large scale in a group of persons, and money laundering.

More than 15 searches were conducted within two criminal procedures. During the searches, large amounts of cash, tobacco products and more than 1,900 bottles of different alcoholic beverages were discovered.

Three of the detained officials decided to terminate their job contracts with VID, but it does not free them from responsibility. The other two officials have been suspended from their positions and arrested. 

VID general director Ieva Jaunzeme said that VID has introduced a comprehensive risk-based evaluation system of employees. "Being aware of the corruption risks in state administration, VID has introduced an efficient internal security system, and this system shows results. This does not mean that VID is the only state institution where there are corruption risks, but that we have a system to fight it and we are ready to speak about it," she said.

No further information will be released at the moment so as not to impede the ongoing investigation.

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