Officials from the State Revenue Service (VID) may have been involved in the biggest drug trafficking case in Latvia’s history.
In October 2022 Latvian State Police submitted materials of a criminal procedure previously separated from the so-called Koknese cocaine case for the commencement of criminal prosecution, as confirmed by the police.
Criminal proceedings commenced in 2020 in accordance with the section of the Criminal Law on acquisition, storage, and transportation of cocaine with the purpose of realisation, transportation of cocaine over the Latvian border, as well as money laundering.
During the investigation law enforcers determined that between January 2014 and January 2019 illegally obtained funds were used to acquire valuables, transferred to another place and had their origin changed in an attempt to hide the criminal origin of this money.
Police requested permission to commence criminal prosecution of two people. Their property – private home and car worth EUR 695 000 – were arrested.
On top of that, the investigation performed together with State Revenue Service’s (VID) Internal Security Office, police found four more people as suspects. All of them were officials in VID between 2018 and 2019. These people may have been involved in the crime, assisting with the smuggling of cocaine to Latvia.
Three are suspected of negligence of official duties that resulted in severe consequences. The fourth person is suspected of abuse of power that caused severe consequences.
Following an in-depth investigation and acquisition of a sufficient volume of evidence, police decided in October to submit the criminal procedure to the Specialized Prosecution Office for Organized Crime and Other Branches to commence criminal prosecution of six persons.
VID reports the institution cooperated with the police very closely to determine those responsible for aforementioned crimes.
None of the VID officials suspected of crimes are no longer work at VID Customs Police.
«In order to uncover crimes and bring those responsible to justice, VID previously formed the Internal Security Office. This decision has given us the expected result – both the people who had committed criminal acts in the recent past and the people who committed criminal acts several years ago are now brought back to answer for their crimes,» VID reports.
The Court of Economic Affairs has the Koknese cocaine case in review.
According to publicly available information, among the people detained in this criminal case are Agris Vaivods, Andris Elsts, Dainis Vaivods and Andrejs Davidko.
These people are accused of transporting a shipment of 1 758 kg of cocaine over Latvia’s border by hiding cocaine in a shipment of bananas.
On 8 January 2019 police found carton boxes containing cocaine within the territory of some private home. The boxes were sent from Ecuador. A group of people had organised the smuggling of 1 758 kg of cocaine to Latvia by hiding it in boxes containing bananas.
Criminal Police Chief Andrejs Grišins told the media the total worth of the intercepted cocaine amount if approximately EUR 65 million.
The value of cocaine on the street may increase several times, which means the total value may reach EUR 1 billion.
At the time the police announced that the shipment intercepted in Koknese was not meant for sale in Latvia.