Rīga Central Market's "cigarette corner" flattened

Part of the Rīga Central Market territory that had become notorious as a place to get hold of contraband cigarettes has been flattened by heavy machinery.

As the caterpillar tracks rolled and pneumatic arms pumped behind him, Rīga mayor Oļegs Burovs told reporters the area would be turned into a public square to replace the rabbit warren of makeshift kiosks and stalls.

The lease with the previous occupiers, which was signed in the 1990s, ran out on Tuesday, January 14. Traders had left the kiosks ahead of demolition and dismantling, which is expected to last until the start of March. 

As previously reported by LSM, it was LTV's investigative show Forbidden Method that finally exposed the shady goings-on in the area that were obvious to anyone passing through and wondering why they were constantly receiving whispered invitations to buy cigarettes from men loitering in the precincts.

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