bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 29.03.2020 | Name days: Agija, Aldonis
LatviaLatvia

Central market’s «cigarette mafia»: trade turnover estimated around EUR 5.6 million

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

 Aizliegtais paņēmiens, contraband cigarettes, search, Riga Central Market, State PoliceContraband cigarettes are sold at Riga Central Market in at least ten illegal trade locations, as reported by LTV programme Aizliegtais paņēmiens.

The programme uncovered illegal cigarette trading locations by having a journalist «infiltrate» the market. At first the journalist sold clothes and observed everything from the side. Then the journalist earned the trust of illegal cigarette traders and became part of the «cigarette mafia».

The programme found out that every location, some of which have a front as clothes stores, has its own chief and largely trade locations are controlled by Armenians – the market has a well-organized ‘cigarette mafia’.

A single illegal cigarette store sells 70 to 120 blocks if cigarettes. On good days, sales of a single such location reach EUR 2 000.

The programme reports that there is a scheme in place to ensure a large number of cigarettes does not remain at illegal stores at the end of the day. Cigarettes are distributed differently among small kiosks: one stores blocks behind closed doors, another has only a couple of blocks, and another has only cigarette packs.

Aizliegtais paņēmiens notes that such a scheme is used specifically to minimize the loss of illegal cigarettes in the event of police raid. Cigarettes are delivered from some warehouse to Riga’s centre – cars park a little bit further from the market itself (police have already figured out when and where to expect them). Instead cars park near the central building of the University of Latvia or LU Faculty of Law.

The programme also found out that the biggest cigarette warehouses are located near Erebuni restaurant on Deglavas street and near Deglava business centre on the opposite side of the street.

The average wage of a cigarette trader is near EUR 2 000 a month. The wage of a boss of such a trade location nears EUR 13 000, the programme reports.

Traders are not afraid of State Police and often work even if police officers are present at the market. Aizliegtais paņēmiens notes that police cannot apply anything worse than an administrative fine, which is not enough to make illegal traders worry.

Nearly all traders have been applied with fines worth several thousand euros in total, the fines of some of them have already reached EUR 15 000 to EUR 20 000. The minimal fine is EUR 70, whereas the maximum is EUR 700. However, none of them worry about fines and have no intention of paying up. It is also not possible to enforce from them because they have no legal income or property.

Security officers of the central market say they cannot outcompete illegal trade, saying it is the State Police’s responsibility, because they have «greater power». Some cigarette trader says sometimes security staff take away cigarettes and money. When asked if they hand over the goods and money to authorities or keep for themselves, he said both.

Read also: Search at Riga Central Market: firearms, ammunition and EUR 40 560 in cash found

Some illegal cigarette traders claim some market security guards collect money from traders – something around EUR 50 a day. It is also necessary to supply guards with 40 blocks of cigarettes worth EUR 800 every month.

The programme estimates the value of contraband cigarette turnover at Riga Central Market around EUR 5.6 million.

No taxes are paid from this activity. Aizliegtais paņēmiens has calculated that the amount of lost excise tax from ten kiosks at the market may be EUR 500 000, lost VAT is around EUR 1.7 million. There is also the lost PIT, which is also estimated around EUR 4 million.


Leave a reply

BNN summary of the week: Muižnieks reinstated as rector. Friendly fuel prices

BNN gives you a summary of the key events of the past week, told in news stories of the following topics: State of Emergency, Post, Outlook, Solutions, Opinion and Price decline.

1 500 people have returned to Latvia since the beginning of state of emergency

After 27 March, no repatriation flights are planned for Latvian citizens unless it is an emergency, as confirmed by Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press-secretary Jānis Beķeris.

Covid-19 infection confirmed for a doctor of Rēzekne Hospital

Covid-19 infection has been confirmed for a doctor of Rēzekne Hospital, as reported by Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre. The centre received this information on Thursday, 26 March. SPKC notes the infected doctor has been provided with recommendations for preventive measures.

Europol warns about rapid crime rate increase during coronavirus pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic there has been an increase with crime rates, as criminals and criminal organizations quickly adapt their methods, as reported by Europol on Friday, 27 March.

Experts explain | don’t buy into internet offers of slimming pills – they don’t exist!

The healthy lifestyle cult has become more popular in recent years. This tendency has opened the way for greedy snake oil salesmen to get rich at the expense of people who want to become slim, especially now, when residents stay home and want to stay in good shape without exercising.

Estonia orders protective equipment from China for 10 million euros

Estonia has ordered from a company in China antiviral protection and medial equipment worth more than 10 million euros. Tallinn explained supplies could not be ordered in Europe right now, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reported.

Electricity price reduces for households in Latvia

From Q4 2019 onward the price of electricity has reduced, according to the latest market data from the Public Utilities Commission. Prices benefit from warm weather and recovery of water reserves, which allows increasing the power production output at hydroelectric power stations.

Latest Covid-19 data for Baltics. 280 in Latvia, 344 in Lithuania, 575 in Estonia

The number of Covid-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 280, which means this country has the lowest number of infection cases among the three Baltic States. Lithuanian media report 344 infection cases.

BNN asks | expert speaks about the «panic» over coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

I would like to explain to readers that the word panic may not be the best description for the general mood that has increased in many parts of the world, including Latvia, in the past several weeks because of the new coronavirus.

EU states agree to overcome virus outbreak and economic crisis together

The EU heads of member states and governments have agreed in a distance meeting to fight the virus outbreak in the territory of the bloc with joint efforts, ensuring the supply of medical equipment and funding the development of a vaccine, the EU European Council sated in a press release.

Workers from all industries eligible for idleness benefits in Latvia

After meeting certain criteria, workers from companies working in all industries will become eligible for idleness benefits, as provided by Latvian Cabinet of Ministers supported rules developed by Economy Ministry for support of companies affected by Covid-19.

US surpasses China with largest number of coronavirus infections

In the US, the world’s largest number of confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus has been registered, surpassing the official data of China, American news agency Associated Press reports.

Rules for public transport bus use change in Latvia to limit Covid-19 spread

Latvian municipalities are urged to consider the option to abolish public transport discounts and benefits for certain groups to reduce the risk of people from risk groups getting infected, as well as to more accurately organize the flow of passengers, according to a Twitter post by Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits.

Latvian government approves Indriķis Muižnieks as rector of University of Latvia

On Thursday, 26 March, Latvia’s government decided without any discussions to approve Indriķis Muižnieks as the rector of University of Latvia.

Bank of Latvia expects country’s GDP to drop 6.5% this year

For 2020 the Bank of Latvia predicts GDP decline of 6.5%. Annual average inflation is estimated at 0.5%, the bank reports.

Lithuania sees upsides to the coronavirus scourge too!

It goes without words – Lithuania, as the rest of the world, has been hit hard by the spreading coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, with the aftermaths of the crisis being likened to 2008-2010 economic crunch. The jobless rate soared 30 per cent during quarantine, year-on-year, over 60 thousand Lithuanians took sick leave. With the dire forecasts that the coronavirus patient toll in the country will peak to nearly 7 thousand cases by May 1, local economy pundits have dramatically worsened this week prognosis for GDP contraction this year.

Vaidere: Latvia to have access to nearly EUR 800 million from EU to battle Covid-19

Latvia will be able to use nearly EUR 800 million from the European Union budget to battle consequences from Covid-19 both in healthcare and the economy, says Latvian MEP Inese Vaidere.

New Zealand accused of Christchurch attacks pleads guilty

In the New Zealand criminal case into the terror attacks in the city Christchurch, where 51 people were killed in 2019, the accused man has pleaded guilty in all charges, British news portal The Guardian reports.

Covid-19 update in Baltics: 244 in Latvia, 290 in Lithuania and 538 in Estonia

The number of confirmed Covid-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 244. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 290 confirmed infection cases and four deaths caused by complications from the virus.

Youth Song Celebration in Latvia may be postponed to later in summer

The upcoming XII Latvian Youth Song and Dance Celebration may be postponed to a later date this summer. Worst case scenario – it may be postponed to 2021, according to information published on nacgavilet.lv.

Estonian care home finds two cases of COVID-19, despite isolation rules

In Estonia, two clients of a care home in the Saaremaa Island have been tested positive for the new coronavirus, despite a ban on visits being in place since mid-March, the Estonian Health Board stated on Thursday, March 26.

Minister on support of culture and mass media: no one will be forgotten

No one working in the culture and mass media industry will be forgotten during Covid-19 crisis, Latvian Culture Minister promised in an interview to Latvijas Radio in the morning of Thursday, 26 March.

Lithuania to keep quarantine in place until April 13

Lithuanian government has decided to extend the period of quarantine period until April 13, to fight the outbreak of COVID-19. It also advised wearing masks for mouth and nose protection recommended in public areas, according to an official statement by the government.

First months of Covid-19 have had no visible effect on Latvia’s state budget

In the first two months of the Covid-19 pandemic its effect on the state budget was not yet felt, as reported by Latvia’s Finance Ministry.

In Spain, death toll from COVID-19 exceeds that of China

In Spain, more people have died from health problems related to COVID-19 than in China, making the Southern European nation the worst affected country in the world after Italy, British public broadcaster BBC reports.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!