Bomb threat extortions on the rise

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There are more and more cases being reported of extortion attempts on shopping centers and businesses using bomb threats, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Unity) told the LNT television channel Tuesday.

''Initially, such extortion attempts were made on shopping centers. Now, we also see such attempts being made on restaurants, cafes and other businesses. It is clear this is a complicated matter, as these extortion attempts are carried out online,'' Kozlovskis said.

He said that there is much responsibility put on interior structures in such cases, as they must determine whether the bomb threats should be taken seriously and thus close down the businesses being threatened to carry out a search.

Kozlovskis said that the State Police is working hard to find these extortionists, and added that this is not just a problem for Latvia. However, he refrained from explaining with which countries Latvia is working together with in this investigation.

Several cases were reported before the Christmas holidays of shopping centers being closed after receiving bomb threats.

Police later found the threats were being made to extort money from retailers, otherwise the perpetrators would continue making bomb threats to hamper their business activities.

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