Luxury car tax scam uncovered

The Customs Police under the Latvian State Revenue Service has uncovered a major contraband scheme involving luxury cars from Russia, and officials of the Latvian Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSSD) might have helped to cover up the illegalities, according to unofficial information obtained by Latvian Television (LTV).

Luxury cars such as Ferrari, Range Rover and others were driven into Latvia from Russia, crossing the border on their own wheels rather than on car carrier trailers.

They were given temporary registration and were sold afterwards. LTV said that CSDD officials, when registering the vehicles, had turned a blind eye to the fact that the cars had originally been brought here from Russia.

Obviously, such a situtation would also lead to suspicions that kickbacks might be an incentive for such official laxity.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of euros did not get paid into the Latvian budget, and the legalized cars became vehicles of EU origin that could be sold freely in other countries.

Unofficial sources told LTV that several CSDD employees had reportedly been detained on suspicions of participation in this contraband scheme.

The CSDD would not comment on the alleged involvement of its staff in the contraband. CSDD representative Janis Aizports told LETA that the CSDD had been cooperating with the Customs Police from the very start and had also taken measures to prevent similar contraband cases in the future.

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