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Monday 24.02.2020 | Name days: Diāna, Dina, Dins
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Court maintains arrest for Riga Central Market cigarette case suspect Vilnis Visors

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Riga Central Market, cigarette mafia, Riga Regional Court, suspectOn Monday, 9 December, Riga Regional Court decided to keep the security measure against suspect in Riga Central Market illegal cigarette trade case businessman and board member of Tirdzniecības nams Latgales priekšpilsētā Vilnis Visors in place.

The court hearing lasted one hour. Visors hid his face from cameras using the hood of his jacket.

Visors’ lawyer Vera Mihaiļenko did not comment what exactly her client is accused of or if he admits his guilt.

State Police suspects the company Tirdzniecības nams Latgales priekšpilsētā played the most important part in the illegal cigarettes trade activities at the market.

On 21st and 22nd November Police performed searches at Riga Central Market and offices in an effort to combat circulation of illegal goods. Police detained 12 people aged 20 to 58 years. Four persons have been put under arrest.

Two of the arrested persons had previously ended up in sights of the police. One of them has been penalized 49 times for illegal circulation of excise goods.

Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis had previously told LTV in an interview that police suspect the private company that leased territory at the market had played the central role in trade of illegal goods. According to the chief of police, this private company has ties to the criminal world and was responsible for organizing illegal trade.

Information from Firmas.lv shows that Tirdzniecības nams Latgales priekšpilsētā was founded in 1991 and belongs to three private persons – Viktors Baklagins, Zane Vilcāne and Radmila Orlova. In 2018 the company worked with turnover of EUR 300 754 and profit of EUR 80 576.

LTV programme Aizliegtais paņēmiens reported that the owner of 50% of the company Orlova is the daughter in law of the criminally prosecuted former chairperson of Riga Central Market Naina Cibuļska. The other two owners of the company have ties to organized crime head of the ‘90s Ivan Haritonovs. Baklagins’ name was publicly mentioned in relation to construction project involving Haritonovs’ brother Aleksandrs. Vilcāne is a lawyer in Dzanuškāns un partneri law firm. She has had and, possibly, still maintains civil relationship with Oļegs Hudjakovs, who is considered «Ivans Haritonovs’ man».

Police have performed 89 searches in Riga. As a result, police confiscated 8 210 units of tobacco products and approximately 11 litres of alcoholic drinks without Latvian excise stamps.

Read also: LTV: those involved in «cigarette mafia» scandal have ties to Ušakovs’ ex-advisor Dzanuškāns

Police also confiscated EUR 40 560, GBP 80, 20 dinars, KZT 500, UAH 60 and CNY 50. On top of cash in different currencies, police also confiscated six firearm-like items and 249 units of ammunition, different data storage devices and accounting documents, as well as BMW X3 and different other items of interest for the investigation.

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.


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